Will Mila and Justin's Fauxmance Pay Off for 'Friends With Benefits'?
By Jo Piazza Posted Jun 8th 2011 11:00PM
Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis and the publicity machine behind Sony's 'Friends With Benefits' desperately want you to believe the co-stars might be a couple with their none-too-subtle and staged game of grope-a-dope at the MTV Awards.
That doesn't make me optimistic for this flick.
Hollywood marketing machines believe they can generate buzz by having co stars pretend to couple up prior to a film's release. It generates buzz (case in point, we are talking about Mila and Justin and the movie 6 weeks before its July 22 release) and often translates into big bucks at the box office. It also often signals a last ditch attempt at free marketing for a film that isn't very good.
When a a faux couple is trotted out to gin up press it typically means a bad movie is on the horizon.
Let's take a look at the record.
1. Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler in 'The Bounty Hunter' -- Aniston and Butler's absolutely unbelievable fauxmance leading up to the release of this rom-com snooze-fest proved to be a boon at the box office, making the film #3 on it's opening weekend and grossing $136 million at the worldwide box office. But critics agreed it was a helluva stinker.
3. Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth in 'The Last Song' -- Tweens love nothing more than a fauxmance which allowed Miley's big girl debut to gross $89 million worldwide on a budget of just under $20 million.
4. Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart in 'Love Happens' -- Admittedly Aniston didn't trot this fauxmance out as aggressive as she did those with Butler and Vaughn for this tear-jerking and again critically panned romance, which could be why it only grossed $36 million at the worldwide box office.
5. Penelope Cruz and Matthew McConaughey in 'Sahara' -- Rumors of the Cruz McConaughey coupling actually brought "Sahara" to number one at the box office for its opening weekend despite bad reviews including "a mediocrity wrapped inside a banality, toasted in a nice, fresh cliche."
6. Sandra Bullock and Ryan Gosling in 'Murder by Numbers' -- Who doesn't love a May-December romance, particularly one involving America's sweetheart Sandy Bullock? Audience apparently. This flick barely made a profit at the worldwide box office with a gross of $56 million and made only $31 million domestically.
Buyer beware, the fauxmance bump is not always a sure thing.
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