Does Gossip sell movie tickets?

It’s been a while since we’ve had a film production and subsequent press tour as juicy and awkward as what happened with do not worry honey. How did an elegant little thriller starring Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Y chris pine become… this? Beginning with Shia LaBeouf being replaced by Styles early in production, followed by rumors of an on-set relationship between Styles and the director. Olivia Wilde, through which Wilde received custody papers regarding his ongoing separation from Jason Sudeikis while onstage at CinemaCon, to further rumors of on-set tension between Wilde and Pugh. Leaked texts! “Miss Flo”! Conspicuous silence on Instagram! All of which culminated in a world premiere in Venice that featured some of the most scrutinized body language of all time, and all of us sharing a mind-boggling collective moment wondering if a global pop superstar really got discreetly drunk on someone’s lap. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. (It did not.)

the do not worry honey the drama is unprecedented. Scandal-plagued film production is a phenomenon as old as the film industry itself, and one that comes with its own set of expectations. Depending on who you’re talking to, messy press tours like this are said to be harbingers of catastrophic failure at the box office. Y “there is no such thing as bad press” free publicity. A quick tour of some of Hollywood’s most notoriously riveting productions tells us that both, or neither!, may be true.

Perhaps the most notorious scandal-plagued film set in history was 1963. cleopatra, that nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox with its runaway budget, and melted rumors with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s on-set affair, which ended both of their marriages. What vanity fair put it in a 1998 retrospective: “Never before has the celebrity scandal reached this far into the global consciousness, with Taylor-Burton advancing John Glenn’s Earth orbit on tabloid front pages, denunciations ringing in the Senate and even the publication of the Vatican newspaper. an ‘open letter’ criticizing Taylor for ‘erotic wandering’”. Just sit with that for a moment.

But as much as cleopatra became shorthand for a runaway production whose toxic press coverage heralded a box office bomb, the truth is, though it ended up losing money due to its astronomical $44 million budget for the time.cleopatra really performed at the box office. It was the number one grosser of 1963, and a year after its release, it entered the top 10 of the highest-grossing films of all time. The public fascination (and the papal finger wag) had paid off.

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Take also Brad Pitt Y Angelina Jolie, whose movie Mr and Mrs Smith coincided with Pitt’s divorce from Jennifer Aniston. Pitt and Jolie came out as a couple only after the film’s release in June 2005. If you thought the public scrutiny before the release would poison the box office, think again: Mr and Mrs Smith it topped the box office in its debut week and eventually grossed $487 million worldwide, putting it in the top 10 for the year’s domestic box office. It was, at the time, Pitt and Jolie’s best box office performance to date, and remains Pitt’s number two movie of all time, after World War Z.

Part of the reason many worried the rumors might sink Mr and Mrs Smith is that rumors of romance were said to be to blame for the failure of another thriller a few years earlier. In Life test, Meg Ryan looking for kidnapping and ransom expert Russell Crowe looking for help after her husband has been taken hostage in South America. During production of the film, Ryan and Crowe began an affair as Ryan’s decade-long marriage to dennis quaid ended. There was a lot of tension in the media at the time, though it was more about what this affair could mean for Ryan’s image as “America’s sweetheart” after a string of successful romantic comedies. In weekly entertainment, Gillian Flynn She openly wondered if a date with “Richard Burtonish” Crowe would be good or bad for her. Life testbox office, and quoted none other than a luminary of pop culture Dr Drew, who said that he “had no interest in this film until I found out about all this” and predicted that audiences “will want to see if they can figure out that she falls in love with him on screen”.

Indeed, Kenneth Turan‘s review on the Los Angeles Times he said outright that looking for signs of real-life romance in Ryan and Crowe’s performances was far more compelling than the film itself. So what was it then? The scandal led to Life testThe median box office performance of (it debuted in third place, behind the fourth weekend of Ron Howard‘s How the Grinch stole Christmas and the opening weekend of Chris O’Donnell mountaineering movie vertical limit), or was the scandal the only reason someone went to see her?

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Perception is often a more enduring metric than the numbers themselves. tom cruise2005 press tour for Steven Spielberg‘s war of words remains infamous not only for his appearance in The Oprah Winfrey Show where he jumped on the couch, but also because of his new unbridled urge to discuss and promote Scientology, epitomized by a This day show interview where he accused matt lauer of being “simplistic” on the subject of psychiatric medication.

Cruise’s antics were the subject of much midway dismay. Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone blamed bad press on Mission: Impossible III disappointing at the box office, and was involved in ending a production deal Cruise had with Paramount. More importantly, Spielberg himself seemed upset with Cruise for jeopardizing the war of words unroll. And yet that movie did incredibly well in the summer of 2005, topping $600 million worldwide and finishing fourth for all of 2005, behind a Star Wars movie, a Harry Potter movie and the first Chronicles of Narnia. Sure, there have been larger hits, but it’s safe to say Cruise’s press tour did more damage to the springs in the Oprah show the couch what you did to war of words‘Profits.

Which brings us back to do not worry honey and if the rubber collar on set friction and imaginary saliva from the movie premiere will ruin his chances. History says it probably won’t. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The War of the Worlds, Y cleopatra everything unfolded as it would have without any controversy. as for Life test, I was never going to compete with The Grinch during the winter holidays for children. the do not worry honey the stories have been so scattered and omnidirectional (as opposed to one way?) that the overall narrative cannot be summed up simply. One thing is for sure: the movie is on America’s radar, for the better, most likely, not for the worse.

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