The Love Guru

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  • Directed By: Marco Schnabel
  • Written By: Mike Myers, Graham Gordy
  • Release Date: June 20, 2008
  • Domestic Distributor: Paramount
  • Cast: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Ben Kingsley, John Oliver

Box Office Info:
Budget: $62 million Financed by: Paramount; Spyglass Entertainment
Domestic Gross: $32,235,793 Overseas Gross: $8,627,551

This graveyard of bad jokes, bad ideas and genitalia puns, was a career derailing fiasco for Mike Myers after The Love Guru died at the box office.  This was also Myers first on screen performance since the trainwreck The Cat In The Hat (2003).  Paramount and Spyglass Entertainment split the costs for this $62 million disaster — $20M of which went to Myers.

Paramount dated The Love Guru for June 20, 2008 and launched a very expensive marketing campaign.  Myers character was so misguided and irritating that the marketing material practically dared you to see the movie.  Repellent stuff.  Along with tens of millions spent on domestic P&A, Paramount landed tens of millions in cross-promotional tie-ins from corporations eager to shill for what was expected to be Myers’ next blockbuster.  A few of the partnerships included the NHL; Microsoft; Myers was in character for the American Idol finale (as if that show wasn’t soulless and brain damaging enough, this nails on a chalkboard character had to be thrown into the mix); Cinnabon had The Love Guru cups and forced their poor workers to wear Guru Pitka shirts that sported idiotic quotes from the movie.

Despite all of the exposure and high audience awareness of The Love Guru, tracking was too difficult to gauge if auds would have interest in this Mike Myers vehicle.  Limiting the box office potential was that the movie was opening against another comedy Get Smart — and after months of annoying marketing material, the film rode a wave of bad buzz and landed some of the worst reviews of the year.  To top it off, The Love Guru was leaked online a day before its theatrical release by Jack Yates, who worked at a distribution company that cut promo reels for the movie.  So, along with the shitty job of dealing with footage from this movie, he also landed a six month jail sentence for uploading The Love Guru online.  The Love Guru ruined careers and lives.  Watch it at your own risk folks.

The Love Guru flopped opening weekend with $13,907,130 — placing #4 for the frame led by Get Smart.  It sank 61.6% in its second session to $5,340,895 and continued to post huge weekly declines, ending its box office run with $32,235,793.

The bad buzz traveled overseas, where The Love Guru was dead on arrival, grossing just $8.6 million.  The worldwide cume was $40.8M, which would leave Paramount with about $22.4M after theaters take their percentage of the ticket price — falling far short of the hefty P&A spend and leaving the budget at a loss.

Paramount Film Group President John Lesher and production President Brad Weston were fired in 2009 because the few in-house productions at Paramount were box office flops, Imagine That, The Love Guru and Dance Flick.

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