Jennifer Lopez Made $12 Million From a Movie That Flopped

Jennifer Lopez made lots of fun movies, however, only one of them has the reputation of being one of the worst movies ever made. Initially, Lopez complimented the film, which starred her and Ben Affleck. However, she admitted the fallout from the movie hit her hard — even if she profited immensely from the film.

Jennifer Lopez surrounded by cameras
Jennifer Lopez | Paul Cunningham/Corbis via Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez thought this critically reviled movie was ‘smart’ and ‘sexy’

Lopez has starred in movies of many kinds. She’s been in comedies, dramas, thrillers, and even animated family films. In 2003, she starred in a romantic comedy called Gigli with Affleck. They play criminals who have to capture the son of a federal prosecutor. They fall in love even though Lopez is a lesbian. Affleck’s performance is cartoonishly over-the-top and the screenplay contains some really bizarre dialogue. In one scene, Lopez compares sex to eating turkey.

Interestingly enough, in the 2000s, Lopez said Gigli was a perceptive movie about gender. “I think the key to it was that, just basically, it’s about relationships,” she told the BBC. “It’s about men and women and what they think about each other. And who they think they are as men, and what they think women are and, you know, the same thing in reverse. I think that’s the great thing about this movie. Although it’s about this woman who comes into this man’s life and basically changes both of them forever, it’s also about the underlying bigger picture of who men and women are, and what their roles are.”

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck near people
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck | Chris Weeks/FilmMagic

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The BBC’s Alana Lee asked Lopez if she felt people would only watch Gigli because of the publicity surrounding her relationship with Affleck. Lopez acknowledged that was true, however, she hoped people would appreciate it on its merits. “It’s a really smart, funny, sexy movie about these three characters, you know, and how they affect each others lives,” she said.

How critics and audiences reacted to ‘Gigli’

Even if Gigli received some attention because of Lopez and Affleck’s relationship, it didn’t translate to box office success. According to Box Office Mojo, Gigli earned $7 million against a budget of $54 million. Sometimes box office bombs strike a chord with critics but Gigli had no such luck. According to GQ, the movie is widely considered one of the worst movies ever. Lots of movies with a similar reputation like Plan 9 from Outer Space, Refer Madness, and Manos: The Hands of Fate were B movies with no stars. Gigli is different because of the A-list talent involved. 

Jennifer Lopez discussing Gigli

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How ‘Gigli’ impacted Jennifer Lopez

Despite all the negative reviews, Variety reports Lopez earned $12 million from starring in the movie. Did this make the backlash to the film easy for her to handle? No. “I was eviscerated,” Lopez told Vanity Fair about Gigli‘s reviews. “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, thought maybe I did suck at everything…. It was a two-year thing for me until I picked myself up again.” Luckily, Lopez picked herself up again — with an extra $12 million in her pocket.