2010 Preview: The Social Network

by Ray Subers

February 8, 2010

Release Date: Oct. 1
Studio: Sony
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Aaron Sorkin (based off the novel The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich)
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield, Rashida Jones, Joseph Mazzello, Malese Jow, Brenda Song, Rooney Mara, Max Minghella
Studio Description: A story about the founders of the social-networking website, Facebook.

Analysis: Founded in 2004 by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, social-networking site Facebook now has over 300 million users worldwide and is reportedly worth billions of dollars. This aggressive growth hasn't come without a bit of controversy, though, which was recently detailed by author Ben Mezrich in The Accidental Billionaires. Aaron Sorkin, the creator of The West Wing and writer of A Few Good Men ($141.3 million), The American President ($60.1 million) and Charlie Wilson's War ($66.7 million), began work on an adaptation before the book was even released, and the big-screen version, titled The Social Network, is set to hit theaters Oct. 1.

The movie 21, based off Mezrich's Bringing Down the House, was a surprise success in 2008, grossing $81.2 million. That movie was set in the enticing playground that is Las Vegas, and featured actors like Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne in supporting roles. The Social Network, on the other hand, will take place primarily in the halls of Harvard, and the biggest name in its cast is pop star Justin Timberlake, whose previous movies Alpha Dog ($15.3 million), Black Snake Moan ($9.4 million) and The Love Guru ($32.2 million) were all box office failures.

The Social Network does have a few things going for it. With writer Aaron Sorkin and director David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), it is likely to be artistically interesting, though that doesn't necessarily translate in to box office dollars. Also, it's a comedic take on one of the most remarkable successes in the history of the Internet, which should draw considerable media attention. Again, though, comedic true-stories tend to struggle, as seen with The Informant! ($33.3 million) and W. ($25.5 million). Facebook may be one of the biggest names on the Internet, but it is going to take a strong marketing campaign and positive word of mouth to turn Facebook's users in to Social Network viewers.

Similar Movies: 21, The Perfect Score, Charlie Wilson's War, Zodiac, Accepted, Catch Me if You Can, W., The Informant!

Related Charts: Comedy—College, Con Artist/Hustler

Related Stories:
'21' Scores
'National Treasure' Leads Christmas Rush (Charlie Wilson's War)

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2010 Preview

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