I Could Never Be Your Woman

  • I could never be your woman
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  • Directed By: Amy Heckerling
  • Written By: Amy Heckerling
  • Release Date: February 26, 2008 (video premiere)
  • Domestic Distributor: The Weinstein Company
  • Cast: Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd, Saoirse Ronan

Box Office Info:
Budget: $24 million Financed by: Bauer Martinez Studios
Domestic Box Office: $0 Overseas Box Office: $9,576,495

i could never be your woman
I Could Never Be Your Woman was first being developed at Paramount, but the studio put the project into turnaround.  It then found financing from Philippe Martinez for $24 million, who had more ego than understanding of the movie business.  Martinez arrived in Hollywood in 2005, fresh off a six month vacation in a French jail for fraud and set out to revolutionize independent film — claiming his Bauer Martinez Studios would be larger than Lionsgate in a years time.  Unsurprisingly, the would-be mogul found his production shingle wiped out in in 2009.  I Could Never Be Your Woman was director Amy Heckerling’s follow up to the 2000 flop Loser, which landed her in director’s jail with the major studios and unfortunately led her to get financing from this clown.

I Could Never Be Your Woman was filmed back in 2005 and Martinez partnered with MGM to distribute five of his pictures, with P&A costs covered by Martinez.  This was to supposed to be the first movie released in that deal.  Martinez gave actress Michelle Pfeiffer 15% of first-dollar gross receipts in her contract and when he inked the MGM deal, the studio would receive their distribution fee first — which was at odds with Pfeiffer’s gross points.  The movie was shelved when Martinez tried to renegotiate her contract.  While Heckerling’s movie was in release limbo, Martinez released the cheap box office bombs Harsh Times and Van Wilder 2 through MGM.  MGM severed their contract after Martinez left the studio with the P&A bill for Harsh Times and refused to pay.  With his company drained of capital from funding a small slate of movies and having no income returned from the two theatrical releases — I Could Never Be Your Woman was now left without a distributor and in the hands of a foolish producer buried in debt.

While trying to get Pfeiffer to change her contract, Martinez inexplicably sold off the foreign rights and then made a US home video deal with The Weinstein Company.  With foreign markets taken and domestic ancillary sold to TWC, all the studios passed on the project again when it was still being shopped for a theatrical release.  I Could Never Be Your Woman was the victim of its producer and went straight to video in the US.

Overseas, the film pulled in weak numbers, but at least found a release through numerous distributors for a $9.5 million cume.  It went straight to video in key markets, UK, Germany, Australia and Italy.  Another Martinez production, the more expensive Richard Gere vehicle The Flock saw a similar straight to video fate.

Amy Heckerling said of the miserable experience on this movie outside of the studio system: “If this is independence, I’d rather go back to what they call “the devil you know.”

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