Ben/Jen Can’t Beat Ten Week-Old Fish

Proving once again that marketing isn’t a science, all the magazine covers, network interviews, millions of marketing dollars and Nancy O’Dell Access Hollywood "exclusives" couldn’t beat back the CG fish. The Jennifer Lopez/Ben Affleck vehicle Gigli opened this weekend to a deeply skeptical public and only managed to tie Finding Nemo, now midway through its third month of release. Both films earned $3.8 million at the box office, according to Exhibitor Relations, or eighth position. That’s a sixth of Ben and Jen’s combined salaries for the film that will surely mark the low point of Martin Brest’s directorial career. For the record, Nemo has now earned $320 million at the box office. Gigli will be lucky to break $10 million.

“This is not a shock,” said Tom Sherak, a partner in Revolution Studios, which produced “Gigli” for Sony Pictures Ent. In a Sunday interview with the Associated Press, Sherak said that the constant gossip and tabloid and TV coverage of Affleck and Lopez’s real-life romance may have created a backlash against the picture. “I’ve seen a lot worse movies,” he said. “Hey, is it the best movie ever made? I don’t think so. Other movies have gotten ravaged by critics and have opened up at least OK. It was more than that."

Because of the disaster, the release of the next Affleck/Lopez, film writer-director Kevin Smith’s Jersey Girl, has reportedly had its opening date pushed back into some time next year. Ironically the fewer people who see Gigli the more likely Jersey Girl will get released.