Reese's Divorce Did Hurt Her Career

Vocativ did the math
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2014 10:36 AM CST
Reese's Divorce Did Hurt Her Career
Actress Reese Witherspoon and her ex-husband Ryan Phillippe pose at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles in this March 5, 2006, file photo.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

Reese Witherspoon recently told 60 Minutes that after she and Ryan Phillippe divorced in 2006, her career suffered. "I spent a few years just trying to feel better," she said. "You can’t really be very creative when you feel like your brain is scrambled eggs." So Vocativ went ahead and crunched the numbers, ultimately discovering Witherspoon was right:

  • She received 1.9 major award nominations per film during her first marriage and has so far received one nomination per film during her second marriage (to Jim Toth). Compare that to 0.75 per film between marriages.

  • Her films' average scores on IMDb and Metacritic were higher during her first marriage (6.3 and 50, respectively) and her second marriage (7.1 and 60.4) than between marriages (6.1 and 49.5).
  • The only area where her "divorced" years win out is box office average—$155.2 million, compared to $73.9 million during her first marriage and $76.3 million during her second marriage. But that's "thanks entirely to the unimaginable success of Monsters vs. Aliens, the DreamWorks animated feature Witherspoon lent her voice to in 2009," which grossed more than $380 million, writes Molly Fitzpatrick. If you take that and one of her early-career bombs out of the mix, then once again, her films while married ($80.7 million) beat out her films while divorced ($79.8 million).
Click for more of Witherspoon's thoughts on her post-divorce career. (Read more Reese Witherspoon stories.)

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