The Perfect Score
|Budget: $20 million
|Financed by: Paramount; Spyglass Entertainment; Filmbeteiligungs-Fonds II
|Domestic Gross: $10,391,003
|Domestic Distributor: Paramount
|Overseas Gross: $485,802
Directed by: Brian Robbins
Produced by: Roger Birnbaum
Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment financed The Perfect Score for a modest $20 million and received some financial assistance from the German tax shelter Filmbeteiligungs-Fonds II. The now illegal tax shelter scheme had wealthy investors save on taxes by declaring a loss on a minimum $15,000 investment. By the end of 2002, lots of greedy individuals contributed to the fund, which amassed $92.4 million and some capital would also go toward Paramount’s flop Against The Ropes.
Pointless Trivia: The Perfect Score would also mark the first pic that Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans starred in together before appearing in the Marvel movies.
Paramount originally dated the picture for April 2003, then pushed it to September and pushed it again to January 30, 2004 over the Super Bowl weekend. The Perfect Score bowed against the dreadful You Got Served, which would siphon most of Score‘s teen audience and the box office disaster The Big Bounce also opened. Also cluttering the marketplace for teens was the dud Win A Date With Tad Hamilton!. The Perfect Score was tracking soft, received terrible reviews and was expected to pull in about $10 million for the weekend, but tanked with $4,873,819 — barely coming in ahead of two other Scarlett Johansson films that had been in limited release for weeks, Lost In Translation and Girl With The Pearl Earring. It placed #5 for the weekend led by You Got Served. The Perfect Score dropped 41.2% the following weekend to $2,863,821 and then sank 67.5% the third weekend to $932,056 and bombed out of theaters with just $10,391,003.
Paramount dumped the film in a few markets overseas where it grossed $485,802 and it went straight to video in most countries. Paramount would see back about $6 million after theaters take their percentage of the worldwide gross, which would not cover much of their P&A costs and leave their portion of the budget, as well as Spyglass’ in the red. The Perfect Score was Paramount’s first release in 2004, which would be their third consecutive year of mostly duds and it ended with studio head Sherry Lansing exiting her post at the end of 2004 after 12 years on the job.