May 03, 2006
The Hollywood Reporter
MySpace page helps 'Stick It' at boxoffice

By Sheigh Crabtree

As the first-time director of a studio feature, Jessica Bendinger worked overtime to mobilize a core constituency of sports-minded teenage girls to come out and see her film "Stick It." While Box Office Mojo forecast that "Stick It" would make $5.7 million, the movie surprised boxoffice observers by collecting $11 million and a $5,301 per-screen average when it opened last weekend.

While the Walt Disney Co.'s Touchstone Pictures promoted "Stick It" in a condensed two-week television campaign -- with 10- to 15-second television spots on syndicated shows like UPN's "America's Next Top Model" -- the movie had no outdoor marketing, minimal radio and one print ad in the Los Angeles Times on Friday.

But behind the scenes and online, Bendinger and one of her stars worked as evangelists to woo fans. Through niche sports outlets and a MySpace page, Bendinger hoped to rally moviegoers to hang up their gym bags and keyboards and turn up in droves at the 2,000 theaters playing her gymnastics movie.