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J-Lo, Gwyneth To Do Box-Office Battle

May 16, 2004
Copyright © 2004 FOX NEWS. All rights reserved.

Long-time rivals Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow are getting set up for a showdown at the box office later this year.

Both former gal pals of Ben Affleck have Miramax films coming out in 2004 — and both are thought to be Oscar hopefuls, the New York Post has reported.

Lopez stars with Robert Redford in "An Unfinished Life" and Paltrow appears along with Anthony Hopkins in "Proof". According to the Post, each acting diva is hoping the studio's notoriously powerful marketing division will help propel her to the Academy Awards.

"Both movies are having a limited release in December and opening wide in January," an industry insider told the Post's Page Six gossip column. "Whoever does better at the box office and with critics will get the full force of Miramax's Oscar campaign machine behind them."

Paltrow has been a Miramax darling for years, but a source told the Post that Lopez is the one getting favored star status.

"Gwyneth was originally slated to be on the cover of January Vogue, which would appear on stands in December to coincide with the release of 'Proof,'" the Post source said. "But then Miramax wanted to capitalize on Jennifer Lopez's popularity with moviegoers, so they gave her the January Vogue cover, and Gwyneth doesn't have one at all yet. It is a slap in the face to Gwyneth."

Paltrow, an Oscar-winner, performed in the stage version of "Proof" in London for six months. Lopez's last major film foray was the notoriously bad "Gigli."

The face-off is the latest rift in a famously stormy relationship. While Lopez was dating Affleck, Paltrow, who dated him first, said Lopez was perfect for him and implied that "Jenny from the Block" was low-class. For her part, Lopez questioned Paltrow's acting talent in a 1998 interview with Movieline magazine.

A rep for Vogue told the Post: "We are looking forward to working with both Gwyneth and Jennifer in the future, but as of today, nothing is set in stone. The January cover is not confirmed."

Paltrow's spokesperson insisted: "Nothing was ever locked in. There's no favoritism being played out here."

However, Rob Shuter, a rep for Lopez, said: "I can confirm that Vogue has offered Jennifer its coveted January cover."

Miramax's rep, Amanda Lundberg, essentially put the rumors to rest, with both stars getting play on Vogue's cover. 

"Lopez is scheduled for the January Vogue cover, which will come out in advance of the film's initial release. Vogue is discussing with Gwyneth Paltrow's camp a February cover which comes out in January to coincide with [her] film's wide release."

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