Throughout Hollywood’s history, there have been tons of movies that originally slipped through the cracks before being embraced by audiences years later. Such is the story with Jennifer’s Body. The horror film starring Megan Fox opened in theaters ten years ago to poor reviews and fell flat with audiences with its $31 million box office earnings.
Jennifer’s Body writer Diablo Cody, who famously wrote hit comedy Juno before the now cult horror classic, cites some unfortunate marketing as the reason for Jennifer’s Body flopping. Since Megan Fox was at the height of her sex symbol status, the studio focused on objectifying the actress to sell tickets to young men over the film’s target to women on themes of female sexualization and queer representation. Perhaps it was ahead of it’s time?
Thinking back, Megan Fox remembers her and Mamma Mia’s Amanda Seyfried being timid to film one scene in Jennifer Body where the two friends make out on a bed, revealing a rare instance of bisexuality on the big screen. In Fox’s words:
I remember Amanda and I were horrified that we had to make out. Her more so than me. I was slightly more comfortable being able to do it. She was not excited about having to film that scene at all. I remember we were both stressed out because we had chin acne and there was gonna be this micro-close-up of us kissing. [I remember thinking] ‘They have to paint that out!’ I don’t even know if they did, but that was a very stressful scene for the two of us.
Now these are the behind-the-scenes things you don’t think about! Make-out scenes such as the one between Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried in Jennifer’s Body have the camera getting as intimate with the viewer as the actors on screen. And for the two young women, the idea of baring all their blemishes was the most terrifying aspect of filming the sequence.
Counterpoint, I don’t think anyone was looking for chin acne or even thinking about that during the steamy sequence! However, it was scenes such as this one that was particularly used in the marketing of Jennifer’s Body to entice male theatergoers and largely ignore the film’s intended audience. Megan Fox told Variety in the tenth-anniversary interview that the film was sold as the ‘Megan Fox is sexy, come see this movie,’ when there was more than met the eye.
Diablo Cody also remembers predicting the film’s flop fate during a test screening with the film’s marketing target. She has one of the responses saved to this day, which read “needs moar bewbs.” Since 2009, Hollywood has certainly shifted its focus and a movie like Jennifer’s Body may have been marketed different and reached its intended audience.
Since the failure of Jennifer’s Body, Diablo Cody has moved on with critically-acclaimed projects such as Young Adult, Tully and television show United States of Tara, while Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried have found successful careers, with Jennifer’s Body remaining a deep cut (hidden gem?) during their acting beginnings.