Zac Efron may have crushed the tween girl demographic back during his High School Musical days, but We Are Your Friends – his coming of adult age vehicle about the EDM scene – has become another film headlined by the actor that has failed to light up the box office.
In We Are Your Friends, Efron stars as a 23-year-old DJ and music producer trying to make it in the San Fernando Valley. The film, directed by Max Joseph (Catfish: The TV Show) and costarring Wes Bentley and Emily Ratajkowski, was targeted at two demographics – young women, and lovers of EDM – and its soundtrack features tracks by Hook N Sling, Will Sparks, The Americanos, Scenic, Pyramid and others. Released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the U.S., it proved unable to find success domestically during its opening frame.
According to Box Office Mojo, We Are Your Friends now boasts the title of third worst wide-release debut in recent Hollywood history; state-side, the film took in $1.77 million on 2,333 screens, which comes out to a poor $758 per screen. If you’re even heard of the worst two U.S. wide film releases not counting the Saw 10th anniversary re-release (Delgo and Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure), then you clock even more time at the cineplex than most die-hard cinephiles do.
WB vice president for domestic distribution, Jeff Goldstein, told THR that despite the poor opening for We Are Your Friends, the studio isn’t concerned – in part because the film only cost $6 million to make (not counting marketing costs). As Golstein put it:
“This was a passion project for Zac Efron, and we believe in him. Yes, the result was disappointing, but this was a small film.”
Straight Outta Compton remained in the number one spot for the third week in a row during We Are You Friends opening weekend, with a gross to date of more than $133 million. Meanwhile, in terms of per-screen average, the religious drama War Room came in on top, with nearly $10,000 per screen in limited release. By comparison, the only film in the top 25 box office with a per-theater average lower than We Are Your Friends was the coming of age indie film The Diary of a Teenage Girl (which was only playing on 795 screens).
That being said, all this shows is that Efron isn’t so bankable on his own anchoring wide releases; thing is, that’s not necessarily the case when he’s backed by a lucrative brand (the Nicholas Sparks romance label, with The Lucky One) and/or a more reliable costar (Seth Rogen in Neighbors). Efron’s upcoming projects include a reunion with Rogen on Neighbors 2, a team-up with Robert De Niro on the comedy Dirty Grandpa, and a buddy action/comedy romp with Dwayne Johnson on Baywatch. Suffice it to say, all three films should outperform We Are Your Friends at the box office.
We Are Your Friends is now playing in U.S. theaters.
Source: Box Office Mojo