What Happens When Zac Efron Joins Your Indie Movie.

Max Joseph, third from left, director and co-screenwriter of

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Max Joseph, third from left, director and co-screenwriter of "We Are Your Friends," poses with cast members, left to right, Jonny Weston, Shiloh Fernandez, Emily Ratajkowski, Zac Efron and Alex Shaffer at the premiere of the film at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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[ot-caption title=”Max Joseph, third from left, director and co-screenwriter of “We Are Your Friends,” poses with cast members, left to right, Jonny Weston, Shiloh Fernandez, Emily Ratajkowski, Zac Efron and Alex Shaffer at the premiere of the film at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)”]

Max Joseph’s first film, We Are Your Friends, which failed in the box office its opening week. Joseph, who is known as the co-host of MTV’s Catfish, shot the film with a relatively measly budget of $6 million. When the synopsis of the film was released last year revealing that 

We Are Your Friends is set in the worlds of electronic music and the Hollywood nightlife,”

many were quick to exclaim that this was Hollywood making another cash grab, capitalizing on the meteoric growth of Electronic Dance Music, EDM for short. However, Joseph wanted to make a movie about EDM for over a decade, stating he wastotally culture shocked” after spending time in the San Fernando Valley, the setting of the film. Joseph continued stating he had “ always wanted to do a movie about it.” Regardless of Joseph’s intentions, people were skeptical about how successful the movie could be, and EDM artist Josh Mayer tweeted,

wow I think Im gonna puke…after watching “we are your friends” trailer. sad.”

Director Max Joseph, left, DJ Pyramid, center, and actor Zac Efron attend the "We Are Your Friends" special screening after party at Marquee on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Director Max Joseph, left, DJ Pyramid, center, and actor Zac Efron attend the “We Are Your Friends” special screening after party at Marquee on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

With EDM fans as its target audience, negative press from an EDM artist was not a good sign. From the first day of shooting, it seemed like Max Joseph was fighting an uphill battle. Even if the film was not well received, as a small indie film it would have limited release, but that’s not what happened.

Warner Bros. had a different approach in mind. After learning that Zac Efron would star in the film and seeing that EDM’s growth showed no signs of stopping, they decided to buy the American rights to Max Joseph’s $6 million film for $2 million. This purchase propelled We Are Your Friends from a limited release to an immediate wide release, forcing the film to compete with blockbusters worth hundreds of millions of dollars. With that in mind, it is not hard to see why We Are Your Friends did so poorly at the box office. Taking a $6 million film and thrusting it into center stage after shooting  was probably not a great idea to begin with. After its first weekend in theaters, We Are Your Friends pulled in around $1.8 million, making it one of the worst wide release openings of all time. After the rough weekend in theaters, Warner Bros. Executive Vice President and General Sales Manager, Jeff Goldstein simply stated, “We’re disappointed.”  

It certainly has been a disappointing week for Max Joseph and his first feature film, but what many people forget the context of the film’s production. It makes far more sense to look at We Are Your Friends as an indie film that made a third of its budget back in a weekend, rather than one of the worst wide releases of all time because that outlook aligns Jospeh’s film with the likes of box office bombs such as The Adventures of Pluto Nash, a film that made a mere $2 million out of its $100 million budget, and no one deserves to be put alongside The Adventures of Pluto Nash.

Sources: Box Office Mojo, IndieWire, Variety, The Wrap, PopGoestheNews, EW, and Wikimedia