Film Face-off: Seth Rogen vs. Zac Efron

Film Face-off: Seth Rogen vs. Zac Efron

May 12, 2014

Neighbors is hilarious. The raunchy comedy, which topped the box office this past weekend, pits a young couple with a baby against a fraternity that moves in next door. It's dad Seth Rogen versus dude Zac Efron, but thankfully it's much more than that, with a great ensemble including Rose Byrne and Dave Franco, who give their best work to date.

We weren't sure how to incorporate Neighbors into a Film Face-off. At first we thought "Family vs. Frat," but then it dawned on us that the two leads have done enough on the big screen to earn their own badass battle.

So this week it's all about Seth Rogen vs. Zac Efron. Schlub vs. Bro. Let's do it!


Box Office

Seth Rogen

Rogen's 18 movies have made nearly $1.7 billion (American box office) for an average of $94 million. His top three films are animated, then it's 2007's Knocked Up with $149 million.

Zac Efron

Efron's 13 films have made approximately $660 million for an average of $51 million. His best is Lorax at $214 million, then it's the ensemble Hairspray at $119 million.

Winner: Seth Rogen. Efron and Rogen have been helped by animated films and ensembles. Beyond that, Rogen's films have made more money and have a higher average. That's enough, but more importantly Efron is lacking a hit film in which he's the lead. The Lucky One, based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, is his biggest solo win with $60 million, though 17 Again did make $64 million. Rogen has Knocked Up, Pineapple Express and The Green Hornet making more than those films.



Seth Rogen

Rogen recently received an MTV Movie Award for "Best Musical Moment" with This Is the End. He also won two Canadian Comedy Awards (2008, 2009) and the ShoWest Comedy Star of the Year in 2008.

Zac Efron

 In 2008, Efron shared the Best Acting Ensemble in Hairspray for the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards. He's won three MTV Movie Awards including "Best Shirtless Performance" in That Awkward Moment.

Winner: Zac Efron. Efron has 18 awards that range from 2013's People's Choice Award for "Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor" (Paperboy and The Lucky One) to 2011's Teen Choice Award "Choice Red Carpet Fashion Icon - Male." We wonder if he has these displayed somewhere, or gave anyone a high five when he snagged the 2007 Teen Choice Award "Choice Hottie - Male." A win is a win, and his team (manager/agent/stylist) must be thrilled with every one, but does Efron care? Inquiring minds want to know. Rogen could have pulled this one off if he just had a few more like 2012's "Best Supporting Actor in a Canadian Film" from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle for Take This Waltz.



Seth Rogen

For Rogen's noncomedy films, we'll focus on Take This Waltz, 50/50, Observe and Report... oh wait, I'm being told the last one is technically a dark comedy.

Zac Efron

For Efron's noncomedy films, we have The Lucky One, Charlie St. Cloud, Me and Orson Welles, The Paperboy and High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

Winner: Zac Efron and Seth Rogen tie. This required a lot of soul searching, and future thought. Who would you rather cast in a dramatic role, Rogen or Efron? While 50/50 is a dramedy, Rogen is almost 100 percent the comic relief. The underrated Funny People is also a dramedy. In Take This Waltz, Rogen is surprisingly solid, and that would be the role that would qualify for the win here. But Efron is talented -- he is! Singing and dancing counts for something; he's pretty good in Me and Orson Welles, and while it's not such a great movie, The Paperboy definitely holds your interest.  



Seth Rogen

Rogen has Knocked Up, Superbad, Pineapple Express, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, This Is the End, Paul, Observe and Report and his animated films.

Zac Efron

Efron doesn't have the body of work that Rogen does, but he has starred in 17 Again and That Awkward Moment. Hairspray counts a little bit.

Winner: Seth Rogen. Finally, a ginormous win for Rogen. Efron's best comedic work (before Neighbors) was in a small part in the film Liberal Arts. That Awkward Moment is one of my least favorite films of 2014, and it's lacking humor, especially anything involving Efron. Rogen's infectious, somehow cuddly laugh, is good enough for this win, but he's clearly been in some all-time classic comedic scenes.




Seth Rogen

Rogen stars as Mac Radner. He and his wife realize an infant is a lot of work, but when living next to a fraternity it's almost impossible. At first he attempts to befriend (and party) with his neighbors, but then feels the needs to attack.

Zac Efron

Efron stars as Teddy Sanders. He leads by example in his frat, and his example is to be the best partier of all time. He is amused by Mac, but when the circle of trust is broken, he takes things to the extreme to teach him a lesson.

Winner: Zac Efron. Rogen is good as Mac. After seeing Neighbors, you won't be talking about Rogen first. You'll mention the tight script, the surprising camaraderie between Mac and his wife, Kelly, or how funny the ensemble works together. Even more than those things, you will come to the conclusion that Zac Efron has arrived. The character isn't one-dimensional; a game changer for Efron (and for me). I will now look forward to seeing what he does in the future, instead of feeling a hint of dread when he's cast in a film. Rogen has been very good in the past, and he's good here. Efron has been very iffy in the past, and he's very good here.


OVERALL WINNER: Seth Rogen ties Zac Efron, 2-2-1.

Ugh. The last time there was a Film Face-off tie it was Pacific Rim tying Transformers. Many decided that was the worst thing that has ever happened in their life. That's kind of how I feel about Rogen not being able to best Efron. I wish Efron could only sing or dance. If only Rogen had one more Take This Waltz role under his bulging belt. I should have created some categories like "Most Obvious Stoner Laugh" and "Hairiest Belly." Unfortunately, for the time being, we all have to accept Rogen and Efron as equals. After you see Neighbors you might be saying the same thing.




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