Zac Efron vs. Robert Pattinson: Who’ll Be the Leading Leading Man?

In one corner: Zac Efron. In another corner: Robert Pattinson.The thing that’s got them both cornered: Their respective teen-idol status.

Pattinson tried to knock his way out with Remember Me. Efron gives it his shot this weekend with Charlie St. Cloud.

Who’ll break out first? Let’s take some guesses (in diplomatic alphabetical order):

Efron Wins! “If he plays his cards right, he could easily be the next Leonardo DiCaprio,” says tween-marketing specialist Ashley Dos Santos.

In addition to possessing the ability to inspire killer soundbites (like the one above), Efron can memorably model swim trunks, honorably acquit himself in an art-house movie (Me and Orson Welles), and credibly, and non-sleezily, talk strip clubs with Jimmy Kimmel. In other words, the 22-year-old is a credit to his own peer group.

“When you look at him in interviews, he has a certain approachability,” Dos Santos says. “I think if he can prove his acting chops, Efron will definitely gain acceptance among twentysomethings.”

One advantage he’s got over Pattinson? The High School Musical grad has moved off the covers of the OMG!-ing Bops of the world, per Dos Santos, while Pattinson remains in their grip, thanks to the not-yet-done Twilight franchise.

Pattinson Wins! OK, so maybe some of Team Edward’s audience is still on the young side. But at least it was never on the Wildcat-crazed tween side.

“Zac has the same ‘problem’ as Miley Cyrus in aging up the audience,” youth-marketing consultant Allison Ellis said in an email. “[Pattinson] never had this issue because audiences never met him until Twilight.”

And while Remember Me didn’t break any box-office (or critical) records, Pattinson’s world-famous mug helped the romantic weepie ultimately gross more than triple its budget. (In a crowded weekend at the multiplex, the jury’s out on whether Charlie St. Cloud will top Remember Me’s own modest domestic opening weekend.) In any case, Pattinson is money—or at least money enough to land Reese Witherspoon for his new leading lady.

Also, his new haircut (for the Witherspoon movie, Water for Elephants)? Not a bad answer to Efron’s torso.

We Have No Idea Who Wins! Like we’re psychic. We could’ve sworn Josh Hartnett was going to be the next Ben Affleck, who was supposed to be the taller Matt Damon.

Read more: E!Online


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