the take

Is ‘Across the Universe’ the Next ‘High School Musical’?

Shrieeeeeek!Courtesy of Revolution Studios

Variety reports this morning that Across the Universe — Julie Taymor’s Beatles musical, written off weeks ago as a flop — has finally entered the box-office top ten after expanding from 364 to 954 screens over the weekend. Could it be the new teen sensation? The L.A. Times thinks so, running a Chris Lee piece on Friday speculating that teenage girls could make the PG-13 romance a cult hit after all.

“You go up to a group of people and say, ‘Who wants to see “Across the Universe” this weekend?’ ” [a 15-year-old girl] explained. “The songs are addicting. Everyone who goes to see it has the soundtrack. I listen to it every day. I hear people singing the songs around school.”

This reminds us of when we were sophomores and for like a month all anyone listened to was the soundtrack to Imagine: John Lennon. What’s the difference this time around?

Well, to start, teen fans have a couple of heartthrobs to fixate on in Evan Rachel Wood and, especially, Jim Sturgess, who at TRL last week inspired screams from teenage fans that made us think for a second we were watching Paul McCartney or something. Across the Universe has a long way to go to recoup its production costs — so far it’s earned $12.9 million, and it cost a reported $45 million to make — but at the very least this thing is going to make a mint on DVD.

Box Office Grows Darwinian [Variety]
Is this the next cult sensation? [LAT]

Earlier: Our Ten Favorite Beatles Covers of All Time

Is ‘Across the Universe’ the Next ‘High School Musical’?