Clint Eastwood's "Jersey Boys" has made a slow but steady climb to worldwide success at the box office. At the initial opening, the film made $4.6 million, a figure that failed to reflect the open arms with which fans received the film. By the end of its opening weekend, the movie ranked fourth place at the box office. "Jersey Boys" is a comedic musical chronicling the life of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The film is based on the cult classic Broadway production that has been running for nearly a decade.
"Jersey Boys" is in a unique position at the box office since it has a cult following on Broadway. While musicals do not always make an easy transition from the stage to the big screen, worldwide successes, such as "Hairspray," have opened up the market somewhat. In spite of this, there was a surprising lack of musicals-turned-movies until "Jersey Boys." The fact that "Jersey Boys" represents an incredibly underrepresented genre in movie theaters, moviegoers have responded to the film's release with cautious intrigue.
While having a musical fan base can mean a built-in audience for movie directors, nothing is guaranteed. Director Clint Eastwood has demonstrated a solid understanding of this fact, taking pains to capture the "Jersey Boys" sound and aesthetic down to the last detail. Many remakes make the mistake of alienating long-time fans by completely subverting the original content that made the franchise successful. Eastwood has managed to bring The Four Seasons to life on screen in a way that modern audiences can relate to without losing their retro appeal.
Audiences have responded best to the musical offerings in "Jersey Boys" including such hit songs as "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like a Man." "My Boyfriend's Back" is another strikingly familiar song that many audiences may not know comes from "Jersey Boys" until they see the film. Movie and Broadway fans alike have acknowledged the crisp musical quality of the film's soundtrack is worth more than one showing.
Although Jersey Boys has received some mixed critical reactions, the feedback is largely positive. The film's energy and vibrant imagery are a treat to behold, and provide a much in-demand retro feel that American audiences are looking for. Few films have managed to capture the retro aesthetic quite as accurately as "Jersey Boys," a feat that is due in part to the director. Eastwood may be known for his Western films, but he has more than a basic understanding of style across the ages.
Another major reason audiences have reacted so positively to "Jersey Boys" is the fact that it presents something different from the typical summer fare. Musicals are not what most would imagine when picturing summer box office hits, but there is something undeniably appealing about a film that can capture the hearts and minds of audiences without overwhelming CGI and a huge budget. "Jersey Boys" sticks to what it knows best, and the results speak for themselves.
The aspect of "Jersey Boys" that has garnered the most positive reactions from fans is the acting. John Lloyd Young is full of life, angst and energy as a young Frankie Valli. He commits to his musical numbers with every bit as much tenacity as his most intense acting moments. Young was the perfect choice for the fiery band leader, and he portrays a character that the audience can root for from start to finish. Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda and Vincent Piazza are also fan favorites for their moving yet equally comedic performances as Frankie's bandmates.
"Jersey Boys" has been a resounding success in the hearts of fans who adore the original musical as well as those who are new to the "Jersey Boys" experience. A knowledgeable director and a relatable cast have given audiences a much-needed break from the fantasy and sci-fi films that tend to flood the summer box office. "Jersey Boys" is one film that audiences are going to be humming along to all summer.