Did Jennifer's Body Bomb Because of Megan Fox?

The starlet worked it as hard as she could, but that can't stop a simple truth about the box office: horror-comedies always tank

By Leslie Gornstein Sep 21, 2009 8:32 PMTags
Megan Fox, Jennifer's BodyDoane Gregory/20th Century Fox

Haven't I seen Megan Fox everywhere lately? So then why did her movie bomb?

You speak of Jennifer's Body. And boy did it bomb.

The movie supposedly—supposedly—cost only $16 million to make, a figure that analysts highly doubt, given the rising-star cast and the fact that the screenwriter is Diablo Cody, who won an Oscar for Juno. But Body grossed only about $6.8 million this weekend.

That, children, is what's known as a bloodbath.

Perhaps you'd like to blame star Megan Fox; if she'd gotten naked, would that have changed anything?

The answer is...

...oddly, no. The failure of this film had nothing to do with what Fox did or did not wear.

The film kamikaze-d instead for two reasons.

The first, says box-office analyst Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations, was the genre. Americans get horror. They get comedy. But the idea of those two things together in one place, people suddenly get very dumb.

"The horror-comedy genre is the toughest sell in Hollywood," Bock says, noting flicks like Tremors, Slither, Shaun of the Dead, Eight Legged Freaks and the Evil Dead series.

Many of those are considered critical and business successes, but none of them have brought in the megabucks that a simple horror or comedy can, Bock says. (The Scream franchise, for the record, counts more as straight-up horror for folks like Bock.)

The second box-office killer for Jennifer's Body was its rating, Bock tells me. Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried in a flick set in high school—it sounds like the perfect package for teens. Except the R rating banned many teens from the theaters.

"So," Bock muses, "you have an R-rated film marketed to whom, exactly?"

Nobody, it seems.


Megan Fox did not hit the Emmys yesterday, but see which hotties did in our Arrivals gallery.