Bubble Boy

Release Date: August 24, 2001

But mom, I only said one swear word.

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What at first sounds like an odd subject matter for a movie has been turned into a major motion picture by Disney and will be hitting theatres in its unique fashion. Directed by a newcomer and starring some truly unknown stars, the movie will have to fight for its box-office life by selling this film as an idea and a concept as opposed to selling it on star power. The key is to have a funny product that will sell itself in quick bursts of advertising.

Bubble Boy runs the risk of being a one-joke film, something the early ads are really pointing at. It's a silly concept, so it'll make for some genuinely funny moments. It also creates a new set of jokes that wouldn't have been able to be done before, but it's important for the movie to follow through on that potential. One-joke ads can be very effective, as Rob Schneider can testify to, but this movie lacks the historical precedent set with Schneider's movies.

The trailer is slightly better than average, and if the movie falls on a good weekend, it could do well. If, however, it sees some competition, the movie can suffer. The early buzz is rather positive, and the studio has enough faith in this movie to keep it in the summertime, although admittedly the end of August barely qualifies as benefiting from the summer season.

Regardless, even if this movie performs really well, it should only have box office in the low teens and when taking its competition into consideration, that number would almost be a definite. (Walid Habboub/BOP)

Box Office Autopsy
Poor Bubble Boy. No matter how you slice or dice it, Bubble Boy turned into an unmitigated disaster for Touchstone Releasing. After a long and seemingly funny marketing campaign, Bubble Boy not only flopped coming out of the gate, he also crashed and burned. The comedy debuted on only 1,605 screens, and grossed only $2.04 million over its opening weekend.

What does Disney do when reviews come out that say "Certainly the meanest-spirited film ever associated with the Disney hallmark"? Dump it. When Bubble Boy's opening weekend came along, Touchstone chose to release this film on only 1,605 screens, dooming it to failure before it got started. Were they embarrassed by it? Maybe. Were they worried that protest groups upset over a comedy about a boy in the bubble might continue to make waves about the film? Maybe. Whatever the case, Disney chose not to try to recoup their $13 million dollar investment, instead letting this one die on the vine. I think that if the super-studio had more money invested, they might have kicked up more of a fight; instead the film grossed only $5 million domestic. If anything, Bubble Boy should go down as the perfect example of a film dumped in the late August graveyard of 'unreleasable' films. (John Hamann/BOP)

Vital statistics for Bubble Boy
Main Cast Jake Gyllenhaal, Swoosie Kurtz, Marley Shelton, Danny Trejo, John Carroll Lynch
Director Blair Hayes
Screenwriter Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
Distributor Touchstone
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.bubbleboy.net/
Rating PG-13
Running Time 84 minutes
Screen Count 1,605
Also see Kim Hollis reviews Bubble Boy
Walid Habboub reviews Bubble Boy
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Bubble Boy
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Animal, The 6/1/0119.61 20.92 2788 7033.00 7219.7 55.76 59.51 2.84
American Pie 7/9/9918.71 22.29 2507 7463.00 8520.7 101.74 121.24 5.44
Road Trip 5/19/0015.48 17.31 2530 6119.00 6584.5 68.53 76.66 4.43
Dude, Where's My Car? 12/15/0013.85 15.49 2087 6634.00 7138.6 46.72 52.26 3.37
Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo 12/10/9912.22 14.56 2154 5673.00 6477.0 65.54 78.10 5.36
Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey 7/19/9110.24 14.66 1620 6321.00 8708.3 37.54 53.76 3.67
Problem Child 7/27/9010.03 14.33 1714 5852.00 8043.0 50.32 71.90 5.02
Superstar 10/8/998.91 10.61 1943 4586.00 5236.0 30.63 36.50 3.44
Joe Dirt 4/13/018.02 8.55 2638 3039.00 3119.7 27.09 28.91 3.06
Tomcats 3/30/016.41 6.84 2617 2448.00 2513.0 13.56 14.47 2.12
Edward Scissorhands 12/14/906.33 9.04 1080 5861.00 8055.4 53.98 77.13 8.53
Benny and Joon 4/16/933.29 4.79 408 8064.00 11297.4 23.18 33.76 7.05
Deuces Wild 5/3/022.70 2.80 1480 1827.00 1827.0 6.04 6.27 2.25



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