Joe Somebody

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  • Directed By: John Pasquin
  • Written By: John Scott Shepherd
  • Release Date: December 21, 2001
  • Domestic Distributor: FOX
  • Cast: Tim Allen, Julie Bowen, Kelly Lynch

Box Office Info:
Budget: $38 million Financed by: FOX; Regency; Hannover Leasing
Domestic Box Office: $22,771,646 Overseas Box Office: $1,745,126

Joe Somebody was financed for $38 million by FOX, Regency and Hannover Leasing, which tapped into the German tax shelter fund market for the studio.  John Scott Shepherd’s screenplay was originally a dark comedy, but the project was retooled as a toothless family friendly Tim Allen vehicle.  John Scott Shepherd also sold another script to Regency, the Angelina Jolie flop Life Or Something Like It (2002) and that was also heavily reworked.  In an interview with the latimes, Shepherd did not disguise his feelings on the finished product that became Joe Somebody: “God, do I hate that movie!”

FOX decided to date the picture as a Christmas release and here’s a trivial bit of nonsense — every studio was pressuring exhibitors to add their movie trailers to the upcoming Harry Potter pic and FOX tried to persuade theaters to run the trailer for Joe Somebody over LucasFilm’s Star Wars — Episode II trailer, even though FOX was a rent-a-distributor for Star Wars.

The Christmas frame was incredibly crowded in 2001 and Joe Somebody opened on December 21 against The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, How High, The Majestic — and also Ali and Kate and Leopold opened on the 25th.  Joe Somebody was panned by critics and had terrible tracking and awareness going into release.  Despite a sizable marketing push from FOX, it was lost at the crowded box office.

Joe Somebody was booked into 2,506 theaters and at the time of release, it had the worst opening for a movie playing in over 2,500 theaters.  The pic pulled in $3,553,725 — placing #10 over the holiday, which was led by The Lord Of The Rings.  Joe Somebody saw an uptick in business over the New Year’s frame and took in $5,076,742 and then fell 51.6% in its third weekend to $2,455,013.  It continued to have large weekly declines and bombed out of theaters with $22,771,646.

FOX dumped the film overseas and gave it a brief theatrical release in a few markets to all of $1.7 million.  The worldwide total was $24.5 million and FOX would see returned about $13.4 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not cover P&A expenses and leave the budget in the red. formally

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