Across the Universe was plagued with bad behind the scenes controversy. The film premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, but was not screened for national press before the film’s nationwide release. And when the film hit, the critics called the film a “cliched love story.” My friend Jen Yamato at Rotten Tomatoes loved the film, and recommended it highly at TIFF. I was a little less amazed by the story but really dug the musical numbers (and especially the revamped Beatles tunes). I got back to the hotel and immediately bought the two disc set off iTunes (off topic question: is it still called a two disc set when you buy it digitally?).
The movie hit theaters in a limited release nearly a month ago, and for the most part, critics I have run into have called the film a mess, Until this weekend. I ran into quite a few people in Hollywood who excitedly asked me “Have you seen Across The Universe yet?” They wanted to share their experience. The most surprising was a prominent movie website webmaster/writer who you’d never expect to love this film, but did.
And today I ran across an article in the Los Angeles Times which suggests that Across the Universe could become “the next cult sensation.”
“After three weeks in theaters, the PG-13 movie finally penetrated the top 10 by connecting with a zealous core constituency: teenage girls, who, anecdotal evidence suggests, are going to see the movie in packs, bonding with one another (and the film) through repeated viewings and popularizing it with their school chums via word-of-mouth.”
Across The Universe will be expanding wide tomorrow (from 364 to 954 theaters). The $45-million film has taken in $8.5 million at the box office so far, but it’s slowly climbing. So can Across the Universe connect with the teen audience and become the next High School Musical? That has yet to be seen.