News Column

The Virginian-Pilot Mal Vincent column

June 12, 2014

By Mal Vincent, The Virginian-Pilot

June 12--At least one home in Virginia Beach is still celebrating "The Fault in our Stars" finishing atop the box office standings this past weekend.

As the figures came in, and continue to come in, the cheers increased for "the little movie that could" directed by the local movie fan who wouldn't give up after years of rejection.

The total weekend take for the love story "The Fault in Our Stars" hit a phenomenal $48.2 million Sunday night and continues to grow -- a phenomenon because it was up against "Edge of Tomorrow," the huge sci-fi flick starring Tom Cruise.

The fact that "Fault" is directed by Virginia Beach native Josh Boone, who for all his 35 years has been an avid movie fan, makes it a particularly happy ending that no one had predicted would be quite this happy.

Predictions for "Fault's" opening stanza had hovered around $30 million, based on the popularity of the John Green book it was adapted from. When it became apparent that "Fault" was going to top "Tomorrow," which took in only $29 million and came in third behind "Maleficent," a celebration, several in fact, was in order in Virginia Beach.

Boone's mother, Rhea Barklage, said that every time the phone rang, there was cause for a new celebration as, beginning early on the film's opening day, the trends began to decidedly lean toward "Fault," a movie made at a cost of just $12 million. Boone was in Virginia Beach with his family, in town for his sister's wedding.

Barklage emphasized, though, that "the weekend was really centered, more, on Josh's sister's wedding."

"But," she added, "we couldn't ignore what was happening in the movie theaters -- particularly after he had been out there for so many years. It was a double celebration. When we saw him smiling we knew it was happening."

The morning after the wedding, Boone was off, in a rush, back to Hollywood to continue his frantic work to meet a deadline to complete his work on the first draft of an adaptation of the Stephen King novel "The Stand," which he is also set to direct.

Boone who had a previous try at Hollywood before returning home, marrying and going back, suddenly seems to see everything falling the right way. It came only after some 20 of his scripts had been rejected. He got the coveted job directing "Fault," which is about young cancer victims in love, partially as a result of his relationship with a close friend who had died of cancer.

The New York Times declares that "if Hollywood is about chasing what works, then the success of 'The Fault in Our Stars' will most likely swing attention to smaller stories rooted in real life. In recent years, efforts to bring in a young female audience have turned to the fantastical."

"Fault," according to box office statistics released by Variety, enters its second weekend with a take of $5 million per day and with a total past $58 million.

Fox studios, for one, is already at work on a film adaptation of another novel by Green, "Paper Towns," a mystery set in high school. It will not, though, be directed by Boone. He is chasing yet-another dream, to adapt the work of his favorite author, Stephen King.

Mal Vincent, 757-446-2347,


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Source: Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA)

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