Jersey Girl

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  • Directed By: Kevin Smith
  • Written By: Kevin Smith
  • Release Date: March 26, 2004
  • Domestic Distributor: Miramax
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Jennifer Lopez

Box Office Info:
Budget: $35 millionFinanced by: Miramax
Domestic Gross: $25,268,157Overseas Gross: $10,830,225

“Making movies, if you write and direct them you gotta love em all, they’re like your kids, and Jersey Girl is kinda like the really slow kid. We call that movie ‘special.’ ”
–Director Kevin Smith

jersey girl kevin smith
Jersey Girl was financed for $35 million by Miramax, which would be director Kevin Smith’s largest budget and the bad press began way before a frame of the film was even seen, since stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were coming off the fiasco Gigli.  Once the couple’s onscreen presence together was considered toxic, Lopez was removed from all marketing material.  After an edit of Jersey Girl came in at a far too long 2hr 32min, Smith had the movie cut down to 2hr 10min and then Lopez was mostly removed from the movie which finally clocked in at 1hr 42min.

Jersey Girl was originally scheduled to open November 7, 2003 but Miramax pushed it to March 19, 2004 to keep it away from The Matrix Revolutions, which was opening that weekend.  The release delay also added some much needed distance from Gigli.  One month before it was to open, Miramax pushed it back one week to March 26.  Jersey Girl was booked into 1,520 theaters, with Miramax planning to add locations over the following two weeks, so word of mouth could spread and keep the pic alive in the marketplace.

Jersey Girl bowed against Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, The Ladykillers and the modest wide release of Never Die Alone.  Reviews were poor.  It pulled in $8,319,171 — placing #5 for the weekend led by Scooby-Doo 2.  Miramax added 301 locations in its second weekend, but it declined 38.4% to $5,124,554 and never expanded further.  Jersey Girl dropped 42.3% to $2,954,504 in frame three and closed its US run with $25,268,157.  Miramax would see returned about $13.8 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover the P&A costs and leave the budget in the red.  Miramax managed to sell the cable rights to six networks (TBS, TNT, AMC, IFC, WE and Lifetime) for a combined $3.6M

The film was a non-performer overseas, pulling in poor numbers in almost every market.  Disney released Jersey Girl in the UK through their Buena Vista International label to a terrible $987,460.  Spain posted the highest gross for Disney with just $1.7 million and the overseas total was $10,830,225.  In October, Affleck’s career hit rock bottom with Surviving Christmas.

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