Project X is a 2012 American black comedy film directed by Nima Nourizadeh, written by Michael Bacall and Matt Drake and produced by Todd Phillips. The film follows three friends—Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper) and J.B. (Jonathan Daniel Brown)—who plan to gain popularity by throwing a party, a plan which quickly escalates out of their control.
The title Project X was initially a placeholder for a final title, but interest generated by the secretive title kept it in place. A nationwide open casting call was employed to find fresh faces. The majority of the cast were sourced from this casting call, but a few with prior acting credits, such as Mann, were accepted after multiple auditions. Filming took place on sets in Los Angeles over five weeks on a US$12 million budget. The film is presented as a found footage home video from the perspective of an attendee using a camera to document the night's events.
Project X was released in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on March 2, 2012, and grossed over $100 million worldwide during its theatrical run. Criticism focused on the "loathsome" behavior of the lead characters, the perceived misogyny and the disregard for the effects of drug use. Other reviews considered it funny and thrilling, and equated it to a modern incarnation of the 1978 comedy Animal House. Following release, incidents of large-scale parties referenced or blamed the film as an inspiration.