May 29, 2024
The irrepressible mega-star is not letting the 'bad press' get to her head and is focused on her next project, a new adaptation of the 'Kiss of the Spider Woman' story.

Jennifer Lopez wouldn’t be such a force in pop culture if she didn’t have the ability to pick herself up after a professional setback and move on to her next project.

And that’s what sources say she’s doing in the wake of the “embarrassing” reception to her much-promoted album — her first in 10 years — and her North American concert tour this summer.

Yes, the 54-year-old singer/actor/dancer/influencer/entrepreneur is “disappointed” by the “underwhelming” response to her album, “This Is Me … Now,” and the fact that the public hasn’t rushed out to grab up tickets to her “This is Me … Now” tour, one source told Us Weekly.

But she’s not letting the “bad press” get to her head, a second source also told the outlet. “Jennifer’s very focused on her next project.”

The second source told Us Weekly that Lopez has been through “plenty of problems like this before and has gotten over them,” adding, “She moves on when things like this happen.”

Lopez’s latest album peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in February, then disappeared, Forbes reported. Lopez faced more disappointment from “weak” ticket sales for her tour, according to Variety. Earlier this month, Lopez canceled seven concert dates in the Southern United States and rebranded the tour to apparently broaden its scope, changing it from “This Is Me… Now” to “This Is Me… Live | The Greatest Hits,” Variety reported.

Lopez and her team didn’t explain why they canceled the dates but industry analysts said that she must have realized that she’s no longer the kind of musical artist who can sell out arenas.

“This is super embarrassing,” Matthew Belloni said on his “The Town” podcast April 8.  Belloni, co-founder of the Puck newsletter and The Hollywood Reporter’s former editor, talked about the big “roll-out” Lopez had undertaken to get the public excited about the album and the tour. In addition to a social media blitz, she also released two films, with Lopez sharing that she self-financed her three-part media extravaganza — the album and two movies — for $20 million.

But even with the big media roll-out, interest in her album and concert are definitely nowhere near Taylor Swift levels. Unfortunately, after rebranding her tour to make it appear to be more of a “greatest hits” event, “it’s still not selling,” Belloni said.

“I asked a big music industry person, like, what the hell is going on with J-Lo,” Belloni continued. “The response was she way overshot. Great person, great work ethic, nice team but they over-reached.”

It’s also debatable whether she has any hit songs, Belloni said, adding, “She was never as big as she was in her own mind. This is a sad situation.”

On “The Town,” regular guest Lucas Shaw, who covers the entertainment business news for Bloomberg News, asked, “When is the last time J-Lo had a song that anyone cared about?”

“From a music perspective, I feel like she peaked 20 years,” Shaw continued. He said that the public is less interested in Lopez as a musical artist and more interested in her “as a persona.”

With regard to Lopez as “the persona,” one of her new documentaries indeed managed to generate buzz and some positive reviews. Though burdened with a self-important title, “The Greatest Love Story Never Told” tells the behind-the-scenes story about the creation of her album, with a focus on how Lopez rekindled her romance with Ben Affleck, 20 years after they dramatically called off their engagement.

In the documentary, Lopez is depicted as getting “candid” about her personal growth, her struggle to find a suitable romantic partner and her much publicized habit of cycling through relationships, engagements and marriages. At one point, she acknowledges that people are probably wondering, “What is this girl’s (expletive) problem?”

Affleck became Lopez’s fourth husband when they married in 2022. Another Us Weekly source said that Affleck has kept the mega-star “grounded” through her recent career challenges and insists, “She doesn’t really care what others think.”

As for Lopez’s next projects, both Belloni and Shaw said that she is back in demand for her acting, saying that her 2023 Netflix action thriller, “The Mother,” was a hit for the streaming service. To that end, Lopez is focused on her next movie, which she’s already filming in New Jersey, according to Us Weekly.

The film is a feature adaptation of the 1993 Broadway musical “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” which is set in an Argentinian prison in 1981, Variety reported. Lopez would play the titular role, a fantasy woman named Aurora created by Luis Molina, a gay hairdresser serving an eight-year sentence for allegedly corrupting a minor.

The Broadway musical is, in turn, based on a novel by the late Argentine author Manuel Puig. The novel originally was adapted into an acclaimed 1985 film, co-starring William Hurt and Raul Julia. Hurt won the best actor Oscar for playing Molina.

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