Amid all the fevered attention for massive summer movies featuring mutant humans, giant lizards and an edgy tomorrow with Tom Cruise, a tragic little love story between two cancer survivors appears poised to have its own big run when it debuts later this week. That is, if the other love story that Fox’s The Fault in Our Stars has been carrying on with a legion of social-media users is any indicator of its incipient box-office heat when it finally opens Thursday overnight on a Rentrak-estimated 3,000 screens. There have been lots of bread crumbs on this trail, all leading to what seems likely to be a very big weekend for a small movie, with even traditional tracking companies suggesting it will bring in more than $30 million for a film that cost less than half that to make.
The film, which stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as teens who meet in a cancer-support group, is based on a best-selling young-adult book of the same name by John Green. That book became a big hit in part because of Green’s own social-media chops: he and brother Hank are the brains and faces of Vlogbrothers, a 7-year-old YouTube site with 2.1 million subscribers. The brothers alternate entertaining, high-energy rants about a wide range of subjects; John Green, for instance, is currently asking followers to buy a team shirt from one of the 32 countries participating in the upcoming soccer World Cup, to raise money for sarcoma cancer research. (more…)