by Leslie Gornstein | Thu., Apr. 19, 2012 8:30 PM
Why is Miley Cyrus's new movie being buried? Does it have anything to do with Hunger Games?
—Harp00n, via the inbox
It's all Lawrence's fault. Let the Twitter war commence.
So yes, Cyrus's new movie with Demi Moore, LOL, is clearly being buried by Lionsgate. And blaming the studio's megahit The Hunger Games may not be all that off base:
Back in 2010, Cyrus shot LOL, a teen-relationship-type flick with Moore. It's based on a 2008 French hit by the same name. When Lionsgate agreed to distribute the $11 million project, then-production president Allie Shearmur issued a royal welcome, calling LOL "the kind of smart, fresh and accessible comedy that...is a great fit for Lionsgate's release slate."
Cut to today, when, according to reports, Lionsgate is doing no publicity for LOL and plans to release it May 4 in only seven cities. If that date sounds familiar, it should: It's also the opening weekend for Avengers.
So why the sudden assault on Cyrus's movie?
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lionsgate may have worried about how to sell the flick. Yes, it has Cyrus as a selling point. But that's about all it apparently has.
"It lacks the obvious marketing hook of high-profile films like Hunger Games and the upcoming adaptation of the bestselling pregnancy book What to Expect When You're Expecting," the paper noted today.
And speaking of Hunger Games: LOL's director, Lisa Azuelos, hints to the Times that the blockbuster may have had some role sinking her movie. Azuelos said she was told by suits that they couldn't give LOL any love until after Games debuted.
"They couldn't take care of my movie, and I waited in line," the director is quoted as saying.
Lionsgate spokespeople declined to comment for this story.
Perhaps the studio expects all of its films to be based on mega-best-sellers from now on? (Lionsgate also recently merged with Summit, the studio behind the Twilight series, so that's another superfranchise the company is overseeing.)
But here's another factor to consider:
According to the latest Davie Brown Index, which measures celebrity popularity, Cyrus' appeal score reached a high point of 66 in 2008. That number has since dipped by six points.
That isn't to say that Cyrus's career is over; far from it. A score of 60 is still considered decent, if not amazing, and Cyrus's next project, the action comedy So Undercover, debuts in June.