In His Eyes, John Cusack Was Ripped Off By Hollywood Accounting on ‘Say Anything...’

Cusack explains how ‘Hollywood accounting’ somehow caused the Gen-X classic to lose $44 million on a $16 million budget
In His Eyes, John Cusack Was Ripped Off By Hollywood Accounting on ‘Say Anything...’

It’ll be easier on the arms to just hold up a snappy picket sign like everyone else when John Cusack joins the lines of the SAG strike, but a boombox would send a stronger message.

In the history of Generation X, few images are as iconic and instantly recognizable as the scene from the 1989 romantic dramedy Say Anything… in which Cusack’s character, Lloyd Dobler, stands stoically in front of his baby blue Chevy Malibu while holding a boombox over his head that blasts Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” through the open window of Lloyd’s ex-girlfriend Diane’s bedroom. It’s a scene so beloved and recognizable that every comedy show of the next two decades would inevitable parody it at some point — everyone from The Simpsons to Family Guy to Saturday Night Live had a take on the Say Anything… boombox. Without even googling it, I’d reckon that Say Anything… is single-handedly keeping what’s left of the boombox industry afloat simply through sales for parody projects.

Despite the massive cultural permeation of the film, Cusack himself says that he didn’t benefit as much from the success of Say Anything… as he thought he would — specifically in his wallet. While commenting on the comically dubious practices of “Hollywood accounting,” a method of bookkeeping so pervasive and crooked it has its own Wikipedia page, Cusack revealed a shocking financial secret about Say Anything… — with a budget of $16 million and a net revenue of negative $44 million, Cusack basically bankrupted 20th Century Fox.

Say what?

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