Feb. 25, 2013 — -- intro:
Ben Affleck's triumph at the 2013 Academy Awards after the Best Picture award was given to the suspense film "Argo," which he starred in and directed, came 15 years after he and Matt Damon accepted the Best Screenplay award for "Good Will Hunting."
"I was here 15 years ago or something and you know I had no idea what I was doing," Affleck said Sunday after accepting the award with fellow cast and crew. "I stood out here in front of you all, really just a kid. I went out and I never thought I'd be back here and I am because of so many of you who are here tonight."
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As it is for nearly every actor in Hollywood, it wasn't always roses for Affleck. There were tabloid stories and some harshly criticized movie flops. Eventually, Affleck found his rhythm in directing with films like "Gone Baby Gone" (2007) and "The Town" (2010).
Here are seven film flops Affleck had along the way:
quicklist:category: 2000title: Bounce media: 18589934text:
Romantic drama, "Bounce" was released in November 2000 with an estimated budget of $35 million. In the film, Affleck plays "Buddy," a man who switches airplane tickets with a stranger right before the plane crashes. Affleck falls for the stranger's widow, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. The two actors had previously dated in real life and starred in 1998's "Shakespeare in Love," which won a slew of Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Paltrow, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Judi Dench.
For "Bounce," Affleck won the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor though the film grossed only $36.8 million, according to IMDB.com.
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quicklist:category: 2001 title: Pearl Harbor media: 18590077 text:
Although it wasn't a shipwreck financially, when it was released in May 2001, critics panned director Michael Bay's film, "Pearl Harbor."
The film had an estimated budget of $140 million and grossed $198.5 million as of December 2001.
Matt Patches, movies editor with Hollywood.com, said "Pearl Harbor" is when Affleck started to see the effect of flops on his career.
"With each leading man role and his star power in Hollywood building, he had to do bigger and bigger projects," Patches said.
Affleck had success with an earlier collaboration with Bay, "Armageddon," which was released in July 1998. "Armageddon" had a budget of $140 million and grossed $201.6 million as of December 1998, according to IMDB.com.
It's logical that when the "Titanic"-esque "Pearl Harbor" rolled around, Affleck would leap at the chance, Patches said.
"Unfortunately the movie had its sights set on Oscars instead of earning them," Patches said. "The movie arrived with little positive response and crumbled under its own weight."
quicklist:category: 2003 title: Daredevil media: 18589968text:
In the early 2000s, Affleck did what any leading man would do: star in a string of blockbusters and potential franchises, Patches said. The "Superhero" craze was just taking off in 2003, and with a love for the material, Affleck helped push Marvel's "Daredevil" into motion, co-starring Affleck's current wife, Jennifer Garner.
"The movie is actually quite good -- a director's cut that exists proves that the studio likely didn't know the potential of their own character -- but audiences didn't click with Affleck's blind, leather-clad crime fighter," Patches said. "The movie is remembered as a flop, but only because Affleck looks ridiculous in the red costume. Who wouldn't?"
With an estimated budget of $78 million, "Daredevil" was released in February 2003. It grossed $102.5 million as of July 2003 in the U.S., according to IMDB.com.
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quicklist:category: 2003title: Gigli media: 18589979 text:
For 2003, Ben Affleck won the Golden Raspberry Award for "Worst Actor" in "Daredevil," "Paycheck" and "Gigli."
"The ultimate bad movie of the new millennium had a ripple effect on Affleck's career," Patches said. "People who think his directing career is a bounce back from years of awful movies really mean that his directing career is a bounce back from 'Gigli'."
The film had an estimated budget of $54 million and was released in early August 2003. It was taken out of theaters after only a few weeks and grossed about $6 million in the U.S. and about $1 million abroad.
Patches said Affleck's relationship with co-star and performer Jennifer Lopez "was like gasoline on a wildfire incited by the movie."
Sure, actors get together after they star in movies all the time. But when Affleck made a cameo in Lopez's music video, "Jenny From the Block," literally kissing her bathing-suit clad butt, fans were left scratching their heads.
"'Gigli' is bad, but the tabloid frenzy of 'Bennifer' bumped it to legendary status," Patches said. "Very few people have actually seen Gigli -- a movie that ruminates on crime fiction, the mentally challenged, and sea cucumbers -- and if it weren't for the stain it caused on Affleck's career, it might be regarded as one of the rare so-bad-it's-good movies."
quicklist:category: 2003 title: Paycheck media: 18590035text: Remember when Affleck played the role of an engineer whose memory is reversed after a secret project? If you don't, it's not because people are erasing your memory, but it's probably because you didn't watch the film, "Paycheck."
The sci-fi film was directed by John Woo and based on a short story by American novelist Philip K. Dick, whose other books have been turned into films like "Blade Runner," "Total Recall" and "Minority Report."
Released in December 2003, the film had an estimated budget of $60 million but grossed only $53.8 million in the U.S. as of March 2004, according to IMDB.com.
quicklist:category: 2004title: Jersey Girl media: 18589999text: Another film directed by his friend Kevin Smith, "Jersey Girl" had an estimated budget of $35 million. It opened in March 2004 and grossed $25.3 million by June of that year.
"Affleck has been working with Kevin Smith since the '90s, so it makes sense that he would join the raunchy director for his quest into the foreign land of saccharine drama," Patches said. "'Jersey Girl' is a movie that wears its heart on its sleeve -- and Affleck's audience, continuing to see the actor through a lens of his off-screen relationships, was way too cynical to accept it."
Patches said Jersey Girl owes part of its flop status to Smith's cult following, whose audience for R-rated comedies didn't follow him into new territory.
"But the movie's failure continued to damage his reputation," Patches said.
quicklist:category: 2004title: Surviving Christmas media: 18590087text: The holiday comedy, "Surviving Christmas" is another Affleck film we've forgotten. Released in October 2004 by DreamWorks, the film grossed $11.2 million as of November.
The venerable cast members include James Gandolfini from "The Sopranos" and Christina Applegate.
In the film, Affleck plays an "obnoxious young millionaire who pays money to spend Christmas with a family," according to IMDB.com.