Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No body

The Megan Fox Empire took a major hit this weekend when Jennifer's Body, the heavily marketed high school horror featuring Fox as a demon in the body of a jailbait goddess, stumbled in at a disappointing fifth in the weekend box office, tallying just $6.8 million.

This placed it behind all three of the weekend's other major debuts -- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs ($30.1), The Informant! ($10.5) and Love Happens ($8.46) -- as well as behind week #2 of I Can Do Bad All By Myself ($10.1). If you consider that most movies make at least twice as much in their first weekend as their second, and the pattern tends to continue downward like that from there, it suggests Jennifer's Body will be lucky to approach $20 million. Fifteen million is more realistic.

Wow, what a definitive judgment on the public's oversaturation with Megan Fox.

Many of us tended to think that Fox herself was a significant driving force in the gargantuan ($401 million to date) box office haul of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. But take out the transformers and Shia LaBeouf, and Fox herself brings in less than $7 million on opening weekend.

It's not like this is Fox's first failure to put asses in the seats. Fox also appeared in last year's How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, which (justifiably) amassed a piddly $3 million in ticket sales. But there, she shared the poster with Simon Pegg, Jeff Bridges and Kirsten Dunst. Plus, none of the ads featured her kissing another girl in underwear that tightly hugged her frame.

That's right, with Jennifer's Body, they made Fox as sexual as they could -- as well as making a film in the ever-reliable horror genre -- and still made only $6.8 million on opening weekend.

How could this be?

The only explanation is that anyone who doesn't have posters of Fox on their walls is tired of her relentless overexposure. You can't visit an entertainment site on the web without some story about some innocuous thing she said. Not everything Fox has said is innocuous, mind you -- she tends to put her foot in her mouth, or even intentionally say controversial things just to get more attention. But the point is, she doesn't need it. Even the innocuous things are excuses to put up another startling picture of her in a startling outfit at some premiere.

Because Megan Fox is startling, objectively. There are few starlets who have come along who so clearly represent the heterosexual male's agreed upon definition of female beauty. So much so, in fact, that Fox seems to belong most appropriately in a movie like this Friday's Surrogates, which is full of robots who look like humans. Because Megan Fox is some kind of indomitable robot of hotness, with which you can't reason, isn't she? She doesn't seem human.

But that's also kind of the problem with her as an actress. Seeming human is hugely important to being loved as an actor or actress, and being able to endure in the industry beyond your "flash in the pan" stage. Even if you don't have huge amounts of talent -- which Fox does not -- you can keep going with some talent and plenty of beauty, as long as you are also sympathetic. But Fox is not sympathetic in the least. Even if she could pull off sympathetic -- though none of her roles have really asked her to -- she's too imposingly beautiful to even qualify. No one can feel sorry for a person with such ridiculous physical attributes.

And now it also appears that Fox has grossly miscalculated her own staying power in the movie biz. Sure, she has plenty of projects still lined up. But she also turned down what would have probably been her most high-profile project, the title role in the long-gestating big screen version of Wonder Woman. I don't know why she turned it down -- I can't be bothered to look it up -- but there would have been a virtual guarantee that she would have filled theaters on opening weekend, as panting fanboys stumbled over each other to see her in that tight-fitting outfit. My guess is she turned it down for reasons similar to why Vin Diesel turned down some of the roles that would have kept his career from entering a permanent rut -- he thought he was too good for them. Rather, now, it seems like Wonder Woman is too good for Fox. If they want that character to usher in a franchise, they need an actress with a lot more soul. Or, any soul at all.

The latest I've heard about Fox is that she is one of the final contenders for the title role in the remake of Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy. (Along with Angelina Jolie, appropriately). If they want that one to open big, the producers might want to look at what Fox did with Jennifer's Body this weekend.

There's no doubt it will be quite some time before Megan Fox ceases to be ubiquitous. For those who drool over her, that's a good thing.

For the rest of us, well ... it now appears we won't have to wait forever for this flash in the pan to disappear.

1 comment:

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Totally surprised that BODY tanked this weekend. I've spent the past few months wishing that she would just shut up. Every interview I read with her, I care about her less and less. Everything she does feels so pre-calculated and manufactured. Same argument could have been made about Madonna in the 80s/90s, but with Madonna you got a sense that there was some savvy behind the manipulation.