In 1997, a movie was made for $15 million dollars but managed to pull in just $309 at the box office. The movie starred two of TV’s hottest young stars in Jennifer Love Hewitt and Will Friedle. How is that even possible? A couple of years ago, I attempted to figure that out.
Trojan War was not a bad movie. I remember renting it from Blockbuster and loving it. It was your prototypical late 90’s teen comedy that involved sex, outlandish hijinks, and a little heart. It wasn’t the best movie ever, but it entertained me for a solid ninety minutes and I put it in my top ten list of 90’s teen movies for quite some time.
Of course, with no proper DVD release (it’s released via printing on demand) and its never streamed (as far as I know) Trojan War is a movie that is easily forgettable and for a while it did skip my mind. Two years ago, I decided to take the plunge and order a copy of Trojan War and that’s when I started doing some research and discovered that Trojan War was such a failure. Not only did it have one of the smallest box office takes ever, but it was also critically panned.
I mentioned the two main stars earlier in this post, but the film also featured: Marley Shelton, Danny Masterson, Eric Blafour, Lee Majors, and Wendy Malick. The movie didn’t fail because of a lack of talent that’s for sure.
I hunted down one of the screenwriters (Scott Myers) and the director (George Haung) and sent them both emails regarding Trojan War. Both responded, but Mr. Haung was busy for a couple of weeks and my life got busy and I shamefully never followed up to get his side of the story. But from what Mr. Myers conveyed to me the movie was saddled with a director who lacked the “comedic sensibilities” to mesh with the script. The script was a very popular in Hollywood and Amy Heckerling even met with the screenwriters and had fond things to say about the screenplay. Sadly, what was on the page just never made it onto film and between what was filmed and put together in post, the film was a shadow of the original screenplay. The movie didn’t test well and the rest is history.
It’s wild to me to think you could have a movie with Will Friedle and Jennifer Love Hewitt as your headliners and it doesn’t turn a profit or at least find an audience in 1997.
A few months ago, I finally opened up that Trojan War DVD and sat down to watch it. I love revisiting these old 90’s teen flicks and I had really high hopes for the film. Sadly, it didn’t hold up very well, if it was all that great to begin with. It has a few good moments and I like the soundtrack but the movie itself drags and is just a mess. When compared alongside some of the classic 90’s teen flicks like American Pie, She’s All That, Can’t Hardly Wait, and 10 Things I Hate About You, it’s really no comparison. The film needed so much work and it almost feels like the studio just gave up on the film or didn’t want to put the money into salvage it.