Paper Towns
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Paper Towns is a 2015 American romantic mystery comedy-drama film, directed by Jake Schreier, based on the 2008 novel of the same name by John Green. The film was adapted for the screen by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, the same team that wrote the first film adaption of another of Green s novels, The Fault in Our Stars. The film stars Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne and was released on July 24, 2015, in the United States by 20th Century Fox. The film follows the coming of age and search by the protagonist, Quentin Q Jacobsen (Wolff), for Margo Roth Spiegelman (Delevingne), his childhood friend and object of affection. In the process, Quentin explores the relationship with his friends including his compatibility with Margo.

It grossed over $85 million worldwide after the theatrical release, against a $12 million budget. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 20, 2015, and grossed over $9 million in total domestic video sales. The film received mixed reviews.


Quentin Q Jacobsen lives across the street from Margo Roth Spiegelman in Jefferson Park, a subdivision of Orlando, Florida. She is a childhood friend from whom he has drifted over nine years after they discovered the corpse of a local lawyer, Robert Joyner, who killed himself after his divorce. Unbeknownst to Margo, Quentin has been infatuated with her since they became neighbors. After reaching adolescence, Margo becomes one of the popular girls, with an adventurous reputation, at Jefferson Park High School. In contrast, Quentin is kind and unassertive, but unpopular among his peers. His friends are other outcasts, Benjamin Ben Starling, and Marcus Radar Lincoln.

One night, Margo climbs through Quentin s window and recruits him for an all-night, revenge road trip. Margo discovers that her boyfriend, Jason Jase Worthington, was unfaithful (having sex) with one of her friends, Rebecca Becca Arrington. After buying supplies, they pull humiliating pranks on Jason and Rebecca, and their friends, including Margo s best friend, Lacey Pemberton. Margo accuses Lacey of not telling her about the affair. (It is revealed later that Lacey was unaware of the affair until she was pranked). The event gives Quentin hope that he finally has a chance to develop a closer relationship with Margo. He begins to learn how to assert himself and to take chances.

The next day Margo does not come to school, and after a few days, some consider her missing, others just conclude she left for an undisclosed location. Margo s parents will not report her missing to the police since she has run away from home repeatedly before, and they believe their daughter will return eventually. After seeing a recently attached Woody Guthrie poster on her bedroom wall, Quentin realizes that Margo deliberately left clues for him as to where she would be going. Benjamin and Marcus start searching for other clues in hopes of finding Margo so that Quentin can confess his feelings to her. Quentin bribes Margo s sister Ruthie so that they can look for the clues to Margo s whereabouts in her room.

When Quentin, Benjamin, and Marcus attend a party at Jason s house, Lacey argues with Rebecca over her betrayal of Margo with Jason. Because of her loyalty to Margo and her revulsion towards Rebecca and Jason s promiscuity, Lacey leaves in disgust. Quentin finds Lacey in a bathroom and gets to know her, discovering that, beneath her superficial exterior, she is an intelligent and compassionate person, and they become friends. After finding more clues, Quentin starts to put them together and is led with his friends to an old gift store at an abandoned strip mall. They find a map that Margo used, and discover that she has been hiding in Agloe, a paper town located in the State of New York. Quentin and his friends, including Marcus s girlfriend Angela, begin a two-day road trip to find Margo, hoping to be home in time for their prom after they find her. They bond on the way, as Benjamin and Lacey are going to the prom together; Marcus and Angela consummate their relationship.

When they do not find Margo where they expect her to be, Quentin stays while the others return home with his car. He finds Margo on the street and admits his affection for her, but she does not feel the same way. She ran away from home to escape her dysfunctional family life, to figure out who she is. She left the clues to let Quentin know that she is safe, not to invite him to follow her. Margo remains in Agloe. Quentin books a bus ticket home, and they share a farewell kiss. Before he leaves, Margo tells him that she has been in contact with Ruthie since leaving Orlando. Returning to Orlando, Quentin enjoys the company of his friends at the prom. After graduation, he continues spending time with them throughout the summer before they all leave for college.


  • Nat Wolff as Quentin Q Jacobsen, the film s lead protagonist Josiah Cerio as young Q
  • Josiah Cerio as young Q
  • Cara Delevingne as Margo Roth Spiegelman, Quentin s childhood friend and the object of his affection Hannah Alligood as young Margo
  • Hannah Alligood as young Margo
  • Halston Sage as Lacey Pemberton, Margo s best friend, she later becomes one of Quentin s friends and Benjamin s prom date
  • Austin Abrams as Benjamin Ben Starling, one of Quentin s best friends Kendall McIntyre as young Ben
  • Kendall McIntyre as young Ben
  • Justice Smith as Marcus Radar Lincoln, one of Quentin s best friends
  • Jaz Sinclair as Angela, Marcus s girlfriend, and prom date, who later joins Quentin s circle of friends
  • Cara Buono as Connie Jacobsen, Quentin s mother
  • Griffin Freeman as Jason Jase Worthington, Margo s former boyfriend and Quentin s nemesis
  • Caitlin Carver as Rebecca Becca Arrington, Margo s former friend-turned-nemesis and Jason s new girlfriend
  • Meg Crosbie as Ruthie Spiegelman, Margo s sister
  • Susan Macke Miller as Debbie Spiegelman, Margo and Ruthie s mother
  • Tom Hillmann as Josh Spiegelman, Margo and Ruthie s father
  • RJ Shearer as Chuck Parson, Jason s best friend, Lacey s former boyfriend, and Quentin s nemesis
  • Jim Coleman as Detective Otis Warren with the Orlando Police Department
  • Lane Lovegrove as Robert Joyner, the local man whose corpse was found by Margo and Quentin after he committed suicide
  • Ansel Elgort (cameo) as Mason, the convenience store clerk who is infatuated with Lacey
  • Stevie Ray Dallimore as Hank Jacobsen, Quentin s father
  • John Green (voice) as Dwight Arrington, Rebecca s father



The rights to the film had been optioned since at least 2008; Green wrote the first draft of the screenplay himself.

Although the novel features a scene set in SeaWorld the location was changed after the release of the CNN documentary Blackfish which was highly critical of the theme park keeping orcas. On March 24, 2014, Green announced via Twitter that Nat Wolff would be playing the protagonist Quentin Q Jacobsen. Cara Delevingne s casting as Margo Roth Spiegelman was announced the following September.


Although the novel is set primarily in Orlando, Florida, North Carolina s tax incentives for filmmakers made it the affordable choice for principal photography according to Green. The crew was encouraged to finish filming before December 31, 2014, the date when certain tax incentives would expire.

Filming began on November 3, 2014, in and around Charlotte, North Carolina and concluded on December 19, 2014. On November 17–18, filming was due to take place at the Mooresville Arts Depot in Mooresville, North Carolina but due to weather conditions the schedule was moved to November 18–19, when the film was shot on location both days. Production was set to be moved to Wilmington, North Carolina on December 2 to film the high school scenes with extras, but the venue was changed and filming took place in Cabarrus County, North Carolina outside of Charlotte instead. Between December 2 through 8, the crew filmed at Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, North Carolina, which was transformed into Jefferson Park High School . Cast members were dressed for warm weather even though it was cold.


The film was originally supposed to be released on July 31, 2015. The release date was later changed to June 19 and then to June 5, the day before the first anniversary of The Fault in Our Stars film release. In March 2015, 20th Century Fox moved the release date to July 24, 2015, which was assigned to the release of Poltergeist. It was released on May 22 instead. To tie in with the release of the film, an extra 1.5 million paperback copies of the book were printed.


The soundtrack consists of new and previously released material from Twin Shadow, Santigold, Grouplove, Haim, Vampire Weekend, The Mountain Goats, The War on Drugs, Galantis as well as Nat Wolff and his brother Alex. Atlantic Records President of Film and TV, and soundtrack producer, Kevin Weaver, and music supervisor Season Kent, (both of whom worked on the soundtrack for The Fault in Our Stars in 2014) served as the soundtrack s producers.

Paper Towns – Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by

Various artists
Released July 10, 2015
Genre Soundtrack
Length 60:51
Label Atlantic
Paper Towns – Music from the Motion Picture
No. Title Writer(s) Original artists Length
1. Radio Amanda Lucille Warner; Jesse Shatkin; Santi White Santigold 3:09
2. To the Top George Lewis Jr. Twin Shadow 3:16
3. Search Party Al Shuckburgh; Tommie Lee McLoughlin; Sam and Samantha Kay Bruno 3:48
4. Swingin Party Paul Westerberg Kindness 3:57
5. Great Summer Vance Joy Vance Joy 3:42
6. Taxi Cab Ezra Koenig Vampire Weekend 3:56
7. Lost It to Trying (Paper Towns mix) Ryan Lott Son Lux 4:05
8. My Type Aaron Dale Moore Sharp; Alexander Leonard Jackson; Chondrak Lerdamornpong; Greg Erwin Saint Motel 3:25
9. Runaway (U & I) (Svidden & Jarly Remix) Anton Rundberg; Cathy Dennis; Christian Karlsson; Jimmy Koitzsch; Julia Karlsson; Linus Eklöw Galantis 3:22
10. Falling Alana Haim; Danielle Haim; Este Haim; Morgan Nagler Haim 4:19
11. No Drama Queen Grouplove Grouplove 2:43
12. Moments Isaac Franco; Sean Guerin; De Lux 6:11
13. Be Mine Alice Boman; Tom Malmros; Alice Boman 3:26
14. Used to Haunt John Darnielle The Mountain Goats 2:43
15. Burning Adam Granofsky The War on Drugs 5:45
16. Look Outside Nat Wolff Nat and Alex Wolff 2:55
Total length: 60:51


Chart (2015) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA) 44
US Billboard 200 89
US Soundtrack Albums (Billboard) 6


Box office

As of October 15, 2015, Paper Towns has grossed $32 million in North America and $53.5 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $85.5 million, against a budget of $12 million.

In the United States and Canada, the film opened at 3,031 theaters on July 24, 2015, alongside two other films, Pixels and Southpaw. Box office pundits projected the film would earn around $20 million in its opening weekend, facing direct competition with Pixels and the holdover of Ant-Man and Minions. Box office analysts also noted that it could have easily over-performed and had a higher debut, if teen girls – who are its primary target – had embraced the film and word-of-mouth had gone viral. Paper Towns made $2 million from its Thursday night showings, which began at 9 p.m. at 2,500 theaters; 500 of the screens had a live-streaming event before the film s screening. It then earned $6.3 million on its opening day from 3,301 theaters. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $12.5 million and finished 6th at the box office, falling short of industry projections and earning much less than the $48 million opening weekend gross of The Fault in Our Stars, a 2014 adaption of John Green s novel of the same name.

It had a major worldwide release on July 24, 2015, in 34 markets grossing $7.9 million from 3,905 screens in 39 markets. It opened in Brazil on July 10, 2015 – the first country to release the film – and earned $2.38 million in its opening weekend, from 630 screens, debuting at third place at the Brazilian box office, behind Minions and Terminator Genisys. However, in terms of admissions, it was second behind the former film. It had notable openings in Mexico ($1.54 million) and in Australia ($1.53 million). It was released in 18 additional countries in late July and early August, including Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 20, 2015, and grossed over $9 million in total domestic video sales.

Critical response

Paper Towns received mixed reviews from film critics. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 58% approval rating, based on 139 reviews, with a rating average of 5.8/10. The site s critical consensus reads, Paper Towns isn t as deep or moving as it wants to be, yet it s still earnest, well-acted, and thoughtful enough to earn a place in the hearts of teen filmgoers of all ages. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 56 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating mixed or average reviews . In CinemaScore polls conducted during its opening weekend, cinema audiences gave the film an average grade of B+ on an A+ to F scale.


Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer Movie Won
Choice Summer Movie Star: Male Nat Wolff Nominated
Choice Summer Movie Star: Female Cara Delevingne Won
Choice Movie: Breakout Star Cara Delevingne Won
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film Hannah Alligood Nominated

Year 2015
ReleaseDate 2015-07-24
RuntimeMins 109
RuntimeStr 1h 49min
Plot After an all-night adventure, Quentin’s lifelong crush, Margo, disappears, leaving behind clues that Quentin and his friends follow on the journey of a lifetime.
Awards Awards, 4 wins & 3 nominations
Directors Jake Schreier
Writers Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber, John Green
Stars Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams
Produced by Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, John Green, Jeffrey Harlacker, Isaac Klausner, Nan Morales, Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Music by Ryan Lott
Cinematography by David Lanzenberg
Film Editing by Jacob Craycroft, Jennifer Lame
Casting By Ronna Kress
Production Design by Chris L. Spellman
Art Direction by Jamie Walker McCall
Set Decoration by Summer Eubanks
Costume Design by Mary Claire Hannan
Makeup Department Deborah Ball, John R. Bayless, Joyce Gilliard, Renee Goodwin, Heather A. Hawkins, Lindsay Irish-Desarno, Michelle Spieler, René Warnes
Production Management Jeffrey Harlacker, Michelle Johnson, Jason Miller, Leigh Shanta, Westley Valentin
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director David Champion, Julie Cummings, Lynn K. D Angona, Neal Gray, Sebastian Mazzola, Meaghan F. McLaughlin, Alice M. Peschl, Darrin Prescott, Chris Riddle, Lisa C. Satriano, Xanthus Valan
Art Department David Blankenship, Kenneth Bryant, Anthony Cam, Robert Church, Peter C. Clarke, H. Catherine Colley, Guy L.G. Covington Jr., Steven Trainset Curtis, Brody Docar, Joshua L. Ellsworth, Lindsay Glick, Carson Gloster, Jay Graves, John Grissom, Chris Holcombe, Brian Hudson, Tom Jones Jr., Justin Nathaniel Kistler, Durell Lefler, Barbee S. Livingston, Nelson May, Gregg Perez, Freddy Phelps, John Pollard, Ellis Redd, Andrew Rogers, Barbara Seinfeld, Deanna Tilley, Christopher Wicker, John Wilcox, Melissa Wooten
Sound Department James Ashwill, David Betancourt, Jeffree Bloomer, Kellen Bloomer, James Bolt, Anthony Cargioli, Timothy Cargioli, Derek Casari, Smokey Cloud, Ryan Cole, John T. Cucci, Scott Curtis, Teri E. Dorman, Joshua Fielstra, Jonathan Gaynor, Tim Gomillion, Galen Goodpaster, John Guentner, Matthew Harrison, Craig Henighan, Mildred Iatrou, Doug Jackson, R.J. Kizer, Tom Lalley, David Lucarelli, Roy Machado, Nancy MacLeod, Tim Maxwell, Andy Nelson, Tyler Newhouse, Beauxregard Neylen, Dan O Connell, Elanor Rimassa, John Soukup, Lance Kates, Reed Lovell
Visual Effects by Pedro Atienzar, John Bair, Jake Braver, Patrick Clancey, Joe Craig, Tara Marie Jacobson, Kevin Michael Jones, Ruudy Liu, Cory Pelligreno, Eddie Porter, Lea Prainsack, Andrew D. Roberts, Tim Van Horn, Jessica Wilson-Silas, Scott Winston, Christina Garberson
Stunts Grady Allen Bishop, Marcelle Coletti, Johnny Cooper, Christopher De Stefano, Jeremy Fry, Jason Gupton, Mandy James Morgan, Cal Johnson
Camera and Electrical Department Christopher Kit Marlowe, Rocky Amon, Jayson Barber, Ronald M. Betts, Jim Bridges, Matthew C. Brookman, Derrick M. Brown, Stephen Cabinum, Glen Crowley, Conor Daily, Rick Davidson, Jason Dunn, Kahlil Fadel, Larry Gianneschi IV, Michael Guthrie, Albert Hedgepeth, Chris A. Herbert, Jessica Hoffman, Rodney Hoffman, Matthew Kelly Jackson, Jason Johnson, Michael Jordan, Jon Ladd, Matt LeBeau, Nicole Lobell, Patrick Longman, Christopher Lymberis, Jamie A. Marlowe, Jack McCollum, Frank McGough, Mark C. McManus, Alan Newcomb, James Notari, John Paul Palmer, Brian Powell, Josh Quick, Adam Schaeffer, Henry Schroeder, Christian Shonts, Stephanie Simpson, Jeff Sterner, Sam Sullivant, Michael Tackett, Laura Thompson, James Tomaro, Danny Vanzura, Court Wheeler, Bob Williams
Casting Department Hannah d Angerio, Tona B. Dahlquist, Tara Feldstein, Nancy Foy, Johnny Gidcomb, Christopher Gonzalez, T. Ryan Hill, Andrea Hume, Bill Marinella, Emma McKillop, Chase Paris
Costume and Wardrobe Department Alicia Ast, Brittany Dier, Carrie Grace, Candace Kualii, Pamela Miller, Michelle Pare, Nia Pleasants, Tiffany Verch, C. Cooley Walters
Editorial Department Sean Coleman, Marc Goldbaum, Taylor Levy, Lo-Axel Martin-Fenouillet, Staci Pontius, James Reyes, Ray Ruotolo, Ethan Schwartz, Jay Trautman, Trudy Yee
Location Management Kevin Michael Conte, Felicia Daniel, Todd Feaser, David Ferdig, I. Karl Golden, Charley Hoover, Jeffrey A. Hunter, John Latenser V, Stacey McGillis, Caroline Nightbird, Joseph R. Packheiser, Brooke Winfrey
Music Department Kate Bilinski, Jacob Braun, Tom Brown, Mark Graham, The Hollywood Studio Symphony, Riley Hughes, Benjamin Jacobson, Gregory Jamrok, Season Kent, Colleen M. Lutz, Lucia Micarelli, Jen Monnar, Rebecca Morellato, Satoshi Mark Noguchi, John O Mahony, Victor Pesavento, Joe Zimmerman, Gina Zimmitti, Thomas Cavanaugh, Ellen Ginsburg, Patrick Houlihan
Script and Continuity Department Alicia Accardo
Transportation Department Neil Castles Jr., Darcie Clark, I. Karl Golden, Todd Luckey, Jeffrey L. McLaughlin, John H. Stephens, Leigh Wiley
Additional Crew Suz Andrews, Trent Edward Arant, Sean Beck, Richard S. Bellina, Emerald Black, Matthew Borysewicz, Karen Bosma, J. William Brown, Chris Buongiorno, Jennifer Cain, Micah Caldwell, Vincent Campos, Miller Carbon, Sean Carville, Jerry Cashman, Rudy Coblentz Jr., Christina Coffman, Khris Colgate, Nelson Cruz, Matthew Daly, Kristen Danielle, Vironica Dawson, Alethea Delmage, Jamai Fisher, Jay Floyd, Guy Gaster, Marlene Gile, Drew Grant, Randy Grazio, Matthew Hadfield, Elizabeth Himelstein, Lauren Hughes, Brooke Johnson, Michelle Johnson, Katye Kalivoda, Mary Kerley, Keaton Lange, Daniel Levine, Gabriel Manak, Donnie McCormick, Colten McCranie, Patrick McElroy, Erin McFarland, Shaun M. McGovern, Kimberly Auron McKeown, S. Ross McKinnon, Trey McPhaul, Molly Merrell, David Midgen, Westley Moore, Bárbara Morelos-Zaragoza, Shawn O Boyle, Ben Pronsky, Christine Rapsys, Jeff Reynolds, Kirsten Short, Jess Shuler, Ben Smith, Joni Smith, Jeramiah Snyder, Carlo St. James, Keith Sweeney, Bernadette Tanchauco, Thorin Thompson, Alexis Travis, Michael Umble, Paige VanTassell, Joseph Vogelsang, Chris Whitaker, Ruby Zalduondo, Kristi Booher, Tim Olcott
Genres Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Companies Fox 2000 Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating PG-13
ImDbRating 6.3
ImDbRatingVotes 103100
MetacriticRating 56
Keywords based on novel,travel,teenage girl,unrequited love,friendship