Movie Talk

Miley Cyrus, Demi Moore film ‘LOL’ gets sidelined

Movie Talk

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Photo: Lionsgate Films

If you haven't yet heard of "LOL" that's because you weren't meant to.

Lionsgate, currently basking in the glory of their enormous success with "The Hunger Games," simply couldn't envision the realistic drama "LOL" in their release lineup, according to a recent L.A. Times report.

Instead, the film—meant to mark Miley Cyrus' transition into more serious acting and also stars Demi Moore—has been given the silent treatment.

"It definitely doesn't bode well for Miley Cyrus' career," says Phil Contrino, editor of Boxoffice.com. "This comes as something of a surprise because 'The Last Song' proved that she could be a draw outside of 'Hannah Montana.' After this, she'll have to ditch the family-friendly stuff and go for something a little more edgy if she wants to stay relevant."

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"LOL" is essentially going straight to DVD—hitting a very small amount of theaters due only to contractual obligations. From the L.A. Times report:

"LOL" would likely have gone direct to DVD, [sources tell the L.A. Times], but [Mandate Picture's—a Lionsgate subsidiary—] contracts with foreign distributors contained a provision that the movie must be shown domestically in at least 100 theaters. As a result, the studio has very quietly decided to release "LOL" in seven cities on May 4, the same day as the sure-to-be blockbuster "Avengers," which is expected to open to more than $100 million.

Lionsgate set the May 4 date recently without making any formal announcement and has apparently planned to do no publicity.

Miley Cyrus has a strong fan base due to her years on Disney show "Hannah Montana," but her transition to film hasn't been as smooth. Her starring role in 2010's "The Last Song" was met with poor reviews and moderate box office success grossing just under $63 million domestically (compared to another, more popular, Nicholas Sparks film "The Notebook," which grossed over $81 million domestically after its 2004 release.)

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Certainly the marketing and publicity for "LOL" is markedly different than that of "The Last Song"—for which Cyrus did extensive press interviews and television appearances. Cyrus is currently not booked for any major network television talk shows—rather strange for a major celebrity in the final weeks leading up to a film release by a major distribution company. (It's worth noting that distributors are known to shelve, postpone and minimize releases of films for various reasons. "Cabin in the Woods," being a recent example of a current release that was made in 2008 and then shelved due to MGM's bankruptcy. "Neighborhood Watch," starring Ben Stiller, is another soon-to-be-released big-budget film that's getting de-emphasised due to it's thematic ties to controversial Trayvon Martin case.)

I have reached out to Lionsgate for comment on "LOL," but they have not responded in time for the publication for this post.

"LOL" depicts the current teen culture of texting and instant messaging, dealing with other sophisticated subject matter including Moore's character, who plays Cyrus' mother, discovering her teen daughter has undergone a Brazilian wax.

Cyrus' next project is comedy "So Undercover," in theaters June 27th, co-starring Joshua Bowman and Jeremy Piven.

Watch 'LOL' Theatrical Trailer:

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