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Zac Efron named breakthrough performer by theater owners

February 27, 2009 | 12:11 pm

Zac Efron is being recognized by movie theater owners as the breakthrough performer of the year. This is a new award from ShoWest which bills itself as "the most prestigious and longest running convention and trade show for the cinema exhibition and distribution community." While Zac Efron first came toZac_efron_high_school_musical  fame on TV's "High School Musical," he was featured in the big-screen third installment of this franchise last fall. And now Zac Efron is about to carry his first film with the time-traveling comedy "17 Again."

The trade fair has been handing out various kudos to stars since 1978 when it named Henry Winkler as male star of the year and Mark Hamill as the male star of tomorrow. While Winkler was a hot TV commodity as the Fonz on No. 1-rated "Happy Days," his film career failed to flourish. Neither "Heroes," a 1977 road movie with Sally Field, nor 1978's "The One and Only," a Carl Reiner comedy about wrestling, made much money. And Hamill never escaped the stigma of "Star Wars" much like 2005 honoree Hayden Christensen.

ShoWest has had mixed success at predicting which up-and-comers will have staying power. This year Chris Pine, who plays Captain Kirk in the new "Star Trek" reboot from J.J. Abrams, is being honored. Among the male stars of tomorrow who succeeded were: Johnny Depp (1990); Brad Pitt (1992); Will Smith (1995); and Matt Damon (1998). And those that did not live up to their potential include: David Keith (1983); Stephen Dorff (1992); Giovanni Ribisi (1999), and Brandon Routh (2006).

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Photo: Disney

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Comments

Hayden Christensen is one of the worst actors 'working' today. I didn't think he was that bad in SW but he's gone downhill fast. He was horrible in 'Jumper' and his last released film was so bad it went directly to video. With all the emotion of a lampost and the monotonous vocal tone of a woodpecker, that guy's career is so over.

zac efron is soooooooo peng. i dont care what anyone says if i had one wish it would be to meet zac efron. he is the best actor ever and hes just sooo brilliant in all the high scool musical films.

As one who has seen only Hayden Christensen's non-George Lucas work, I think he's spectacular. Careers rise and fall for a myriad of reasons (Matt Damon's was pronounced dead until he was re-"Bourne"). It seems *awfully* early to make the call on Mr. Christensen, much less to compare him to the likes of Mark Hamill.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

You are way too smart for this Tom.

I have been to Showest many times. It is a business convention. Studios make presentations of upcoming films, bring stars in to meet the exhibitors.

They have an "awards" dinner the final night. They give awards after contacting the studios, see who they want to bring in, and then give "awards" basically for just showing up.

This is like someone getting an award at the Hollywood Film Festival. It means nothing.


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