Even if boos still ring in the ears of boy-band sensations One Direction after their appearance at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards, it's certain they'll be drowned out by cheers when their 3-D concert documentary opens Friday.
One Direction: This Is Us hits more than 2,000 screens, and it could get loud, warns celeb blogger Perez Hilton, who witnessed a slice of madness at Monday's New York premiere.
"The fans were screaming at the band and basically every time one of them took their shirt off onscreen,'' he says. "They loved it.''
In-concert movies that stroke the desires of young, mostly female music fans often have paid off handsomely recently, ever since 2008'sHannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert brought in a surprising $31 million.
"It obliterated expectations," says Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst for Hollywood.com. "Hollywood took notice and said, 'Wow, these movies can be gold mines.' That's a huge part of why we're seeing all of these of musical acts landing on the big screen."
Others jumped in, most notably Justin Bieber, who rocked it with 2011'sJustin Bieber: Never Say Never, which took in close to $100 million worldwide.
There have been relative duds: 2009'sJonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience took in just $19 million, and last year's Katy Perry: Part of Me earned only $25 million. But with the promise of manageable budgets (Bieber's film cost an estimated $13 million) and built-in audiences, the prospects for profits are highly appealing.
This is Us director Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) says he was intrigued by the potential outreach One Direction represented, after his talks involving the Bieber and Perry films fell through.
"This being the third opportunity to do a film with these big pop stars, they don't come along very often," says Spurlock. "I wasn't going to let another opportunity pass me by. I jumped."
This Is Us not only follows the five global superstars - Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson - during their global tour, it also delves into their Cinderella-story origins. All five entered the British version of The X Factor as individuals in 2010 and were cut. But judge Simon Cowell brought them together as a single band.
The new entity placed just third on the show, but international frenzy followed the band as it toured, and that aspect is captured in the documentary.
Spurlock says he aimed to show a "unique fan experience" to ensure the film resonates with the core audience. During one scene filmed in Amsterdam, Spurlock shows how an innocuous shopping trip turned into instant mayhem when the boys were recognized.
"They walk outside and it becomes 1,000 people in minutes," says Spurlock. "The guys get trapped inside of a store, security locks it down and they have to call the police to escort the guys out."
"There have been loads and loads and loads of surreal moments," notes Payne during a recent video shoot, when asked about the documentary.
Timing is often a major factor in the success of concert films, and One Direction seems to have nailed it: This Is Us makes clear that 2014 will feature a tour with even bigger stadiums.
"This elevator is still going up in a fantastic way," says Spurlock. "These guys are in a very unique space. Their core is only continuing to expand."