I Love You Beth Cooper

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  • Directed By: Chris Columbus
  • Written By: Larry Doyle
  • Release Date: July 10, 2009
  • Domestic Distributor: FOX
  • Cast: Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Jack Carpenter

Box Office Info:
Budget: $18 millionFinanced by: FOX; Dune Entertainment
Domestic Gross: $14,800,725Overseas Gross: $1,581,813


After director Chris Columbus helmed the first two Harry Potter pictures and followed them with the box office disaster Rent (2005), he wanted to go back to his roots and quickly make a movie like his first effort Adventures in Babysitting.  He signed onto I Love You Beth Cooper and churned out this abysmal teen pic.  It was financed for $18 million by FOX’s genre and comedy label Fox Atomic and Dune Entertainment.

The pic was first dated for March 27, 2009 but the short lived Fox Atomic was shuttered in April 2009 and I Love You Beth Cooper was pushed back as another left over from Atomic and went out through FOX.  In trying to drum up interest for this tired comedy, FOX hired a marketing firm called the Intelligence Group to create a viral marketing stunt for the film.  They paid a graduating high school girl named Kenya Mejia $1,800 to say “I love you (whatever her boyfriend’s name is)” at her graduation, where it would be taped and uploaded online in hopes of going viral.  Nobody gave the slightest shit and after it was uploaded to youtube, it had less than 2,000 views.  Then the moronic corporate stunt completely backfired when FOX’s sister company the Wall Street Journal outed the failed marketing stunt on their front page.  When interviewed, the girl said she never even bothered to watch this movie.

FOX positioned I Love You Beth Cooper for July 10 against the comedy Bruno and it was tracking for a bow under $10 million.  Reviews were terrible and it tanked with $4,919,433 — placing #7 for the weekend led by Bruno.  I Love You Beth Cooper saw a 43.8% second weekend decline to $2,766,863 and then tumbled 74% to $719,468 in its third frame.  The domestic run closed with only $14,800,725.  FOX would see back about $8.1 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not cover even half of the modest ad spend.

Comedies are a tough sell overseas and even tougher for an unfunny one that was dismissed by the market is was meant for.  I Love You Beth Cooper received a small rollout to just $1.5M and FOX sent the film straight to video in Australia.

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