OMG! OMG! Sixteen year-old Miley Cyrus became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood on Sunday as her first non-concert movie topped the North American box office, earning twice as much as Disney had forecast.
Walt Disney Co’s Hannah Montana: The Movie sold $34 million worth of tickets at the three-day Easter weekend, as fans of the perky starlet rushed to see the first big-screen adaptation of her hit Disney TV series. Cyrus returned the favour, turning up with her father and costar, Billy Ray Cyrus, at cinemas in the US and blogging about her wild weekend on Twitter. “omg omg! my fans rock! the movie is doing great you guys! omg AND its all cause of you!!!! I LOVE U ALL! IF YOU HAVENT SEEN IT YET CHECK IT!,” she wrote, using the “omg” acronym as shorthand for “Oh, my God.”
But can Miley go from teen sensation to grown-up? There is the inescapable issue of ageing – everybody does it, but when you’re a child star, your fans would prefer you not. And when fan loyalty is based on a character, rather than the performer behind it, trying to ditch the persona and maintain the fan base is a little like crossing the ocean atop a leaky Mickey Mouse beach ball.
Too much, too soon Miley’s image took a knock when pictures taken by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair hit the Web last year.
Far from salacious, but certainly suggestive, the photo shoot seemed aimed at accelerating Cyrus’ public maturation. In the full orchestration of Cyrus’ career, those pictures have been the only hiccup.
“You can call it a hiccup,” said Billy Ray Cyrus. “I thought it was stupid.” His daughter’s signature tune, the one that opens the movie, is The Best of Both Worlds and in Hannah Montana: The Movie, we get both of everything: two villains, two maternal figures for Miley to model herself after and two time-tested plot lines.
One involves the bigheaded star who needs a dose of real people to get her priorities in order; the other involves the saving of a local institution through a fundraiser. The split personality of the story line reflects the dichotomy in the career of Miley Cyrus: in the TV show and movie, it’s the pop star vs. homegirl. In real life, it’s Miley vs Miley.
Things are changing for Miley Cyrus. For Dad, they haven’t changed. “It’s the same now as it’s always been,” he said. “We love making music and we knew from the start Hannah Montana was the perfect vehicle as it encompasses all the things we love creatively. And as a daddy, I get to see my little girl pursuing her dream.”