The Disney Princess is no more as a new rebellious side takes over. With a special debut of the indie film “Spring Breakers” 20-year-old Selena Gomez shows that she is ready to take on more mature roles in Hollywood.
This weekend the film, directed by Harmony Korine (Kids, Mister Lonely), had a special three-theater-only debut which left everyone with their jaws on the floor – not only because of the wild college girls in tiny bikinis but because of the positive response to the film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter the film only showed at the AMC Empire 25 in Times Square and the Regal Cinema in Union Square Stadium 14 (both in New York), and at ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles from where it grossed a whopping $270,000, averaging to $90,000 per theater and making it the most successful limited release movie of 2013.
“Spring Breakers” centers around four college friends played by Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine who rob a convenience store in order to have the spring break of their lives in Florida. Shortly after arriving the girls are arrested on drug charges, but are bailed out by Alien, a rapper and drug dealer played by James Franco with whom they continue their crime spree. The R-rated comedic action is not shy of obscene dialogue, nudity, a threesome scene, and a couple of Britney Spears sing-alongs.
The success of the film relied on a combination of many factors. The timing of the debut was crucial. Not only was it released for real-life spring break but also a week after “Oz the Great and Powerful” – which features James Franco as Oz – also debuted allowing “Spring Breakers” to ride the wave of Disney’s marketing campaign, The Hollywood Reporter noted.
Though timing was a key factor there is a far more important one, Selena Gomez.
“The crowd this weekend was overwhelmingly young,” Nicolette Aizenberg, representative for the film’s distribution company A24 told the Los Angeles Times. “Selena’s fans are a little bit younger, so we didn’t go after them directly, but her audience still showed up.
The former “Wizards of Waverly Place” starlet has always had a strong bond with her fans which has been significant for her success and the reason why companies like Adidas and Kmart have made her the face of their brands allowing them to connect to younger audiences.
Gomez constantly communicates with her 14,501,962 followers on Twitter and 40,842,833 on Facebook keeping them up to date with news of her ventures. With that many followers the support of her young fans shouldn’t even come as a surprise.
This Friday, the wild flick is set to expand nationwide to more than 1,000 theaters which will truly test if the modest $2 million film can compete against the Hollywood big dogs but most importantly if Gomez can make a successful leap from teen to adult and leave her Disney days behind. For now we hope the young actress and singer meets a fate closer to that of the ex-Disney star Justin Timberlake and not Britney Spears.