BLOOMINGTON, Minn – Mall of America movie theater employees prepared for packed theaters and big audiences this weekend with the premiere of "The Fault in Our Stars" showing on several screens.
The excitement over the movie adaptation of John Green's beloved 2012 young adult best seller is anticipated to bring in $40 million to the box office passing the popularity of Tom Cruise's new movie "Edge of Tomorrow."
"It brings out all of your emotions, so you laugh, makes you smile. It's one of those books you can't put down. I think I read it in one night," said Katie Wegener, who planned on seeing the movie Thursday night with her younger sister.
The main character, Hazel Grace Lancaster, played by Shailene Woodley, is 16 years old and has been living with thyroid cancer for three years. She attends a support group for cancer survivors. One afternoon, a new boy, Augustus "Gus" Waters, stops by. He is played by Ansel Elgort, a 17-year-old who has lost part of a leg to cancer. He and Hazel share an instant connection.
"I think it's going to be a hit," said Haley Wegener, a 16-year-old teen who was re-reading the book again Thursday before she saw the movie. "It's not a story about cancer but it's about them falling in love."
Carrie Mesrobian is a Minnesota young adult author, who most recently penned the award winning "Sex and Violence" novel. She's also the mother of a preteen and says the realistic approach in the novel grips not only teenagers but all audiences.
"One of the most difficult parts in the story is when one of the characters is breaking down physically. It does not flinch at all. The scene of the characters' last days, it's awful and so sad. The ideas of these two people trying to find meaning when they have very little time left ," said Mesrobian. "I mean, I am an adult and I find that very moving."
The Hennepin County Library system reported the movie brought a surge in book reservations with a waiting list of more than 700 people who want to read the book. The library system purchased 150 more books to keep up with demand.