If Nicholas Sparks is overly confident in his film’s box office prospects, he’s earned the right to be.
The author-turned-film producer (and master of romance) releases his eighth big-screen adaptation, Safe Haven, this week on the most romantic day of the year: Valentine’s Day. Amid a promotional blitz for the film, starring Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel and Cobie Smulders, the book steadily rose back up several best-seller lists, indicating increased interest in the project.
Asked about the film’s expected performance at the theater, Sparks is optimistic.
“I’m sure it’ll do fine at the box office. They all do,” Sparks tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I mean, it’s why they keep making them, right?”
Indeed. Sparks’ first and highest-grossing adaptation, 1999’s Message in a Bottle, earned $16.7 million in it’s opening weekend and currently has a worldwide lifetime gross of $118.8 million. The film, starring Kevin Costner and Robin Wright, is Sparks’ only other adaptation to be released in conjunction with Valentine’s Day.
The Notebook, released in May 2004, grossed $13.5 million in it’s opening weekend and $115.6 million worldwide to date. His most recent film, 2012’s The Lucky One, opened at No. 2 with $22.5 million and has earned $91.5 million worldwide to date. And for what it’s worth, 2002’s A Walk to Remember remains his lowest-grossing adaptation, with a current worldwide gross of $47.5 million.
In his interview with THR, Sparks also discussed his involvement with the Safe Haven screenplay (“I saw every version of the screenplay,” he says. “I took producer’s right to rewrite what I could.”), casting Duhamel and Hough (“Although she’ll tell you it was hard, there were a lot of people who wanted it, she selected herself in the end.”), and whether there is a formula to his projects.
Below, Smulders and Hough discuss the multiple script changes and re-shoots associated with the project.
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci