Life Or Something Like It

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  • Directed By: Stephen Herek
  • Written By: John Scott Shepherd, Dana Stevens
  • Release Date: April 26, 2002
  • Domestic Distributor: New Regency (through FOX)
  • Cast: Angelina Jolie, Edward Burns, Tony Shalhoub

Box Office Info:
Budget: $40 million Financed by: New Regency
Domestic Gross: $14,448,589 Overseas Gross: $2,424,082

life or something like it jolie
Screenwriter John Scott Shepherd sold his script to New Regency back in 1998 and they had him do multiple rewrites on Life Or Something Like It, before removing him from the project.  This was the second Shepherd screenplay heavily retooled by New Regency, which changed his dark comedy script Joe Somebody (2001), into a dreadful Tim Allen family movie.  Life Or Something Like It also was written as an edgy satirical comedy, before being defanged by committee, into the generic rom-com sludge that is the final product.

Joel Schumacher tried to make the picture with Renée Zellweger, but Regency wanted a bigger star and Schumacher left.  New Regency moved forward with Angelina Jolie, who demanded to wear a ridiculous wig for the shoot, against the wishes of everyone except director Stephen Herek and the film was rushed into production to beat a looming writers’ strike.  New Regency financed the pic for $40 million and paid for P&A expenses in the US through FOX’s distribution arm, which received a fee for use of its resources.

Regency opened Life Or Something Like It on April 26, 2002, against Jason X and it received awful reviews.  Jolie’s wig landed even worse reviews.  It was dead on arrival with $6,219,234 — placing #5 for the weekend led by the holdover The Scorpion King.  The pic declined 48.8% in its second frame to $3,182,255 and ended its US run with only $14,448,589.  Regency would see returned about $7.9 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not even cover their P&A spend, plus the fee for use of FOX’s distribution channel.

Life Or Something Like It received a brief theatrical release overseas, grossing just $2,424,082 in a few markets.

Stephen Herek followed this flop with Man Of The House (2005), which basically killed off his studio helming career.  His two previous films before Life Or Something Like It were the box office disasters, Rock Star (2001) and Holy Man (1998).  The director of films like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and The Mighty Ducks, was relegated to TV movies and cheap DVD sequel cash-ins like Into The Blue 2.

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