The Movie 'Queenpins' Is Based on a True Story — Here's Where the Women Are Now

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Jan. 30 2024, Published 9:07 a.m. ET

Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell Baptiste at the Queenpins Premiere
Source: Getty Images

Starring Kristen Bell, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Paul Walter Hauser, and Vince Vaughn, Queenpins is a lighthearted comedy about a suburban housewife and a struggling saleswoman who start a multi-million dollar coupon scheme. The movie debuted in theaters in 2021 and only earned $1.2 million at the box office, deeming the film a flop. However, when it was added to Neflix in January 2024, Queenpins had a resurgence of viewership which pushed the film to the Global Top 10 list on Netflix.

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Queenpins has an 82 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 48 percent "tomatometer" score. The "tomatometer" score is based on the professional critic reviews of the movie.

Kirby Howell Baptiste and Kristen Bell Queenpins Premiere
Source: Getty Images
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Is 'Queenpins' based on a true story?

The movie is based on the true story of what is believed to be the largest counterfeit coupon scam in U.S. history. The real-life scam was run by three women, lasted at least four years, and involved at least 40 manufacturers. When police raided the women's homes, they found $2 million worth of guns and vehicles and millions of dollars in counterfeit coupons. Manufacturers lost tens of millions of dollars due to coupon fraud during the scam, according to police.

A key difference between the real-life case and the movie is that in actuality, the women were not stealing coupons but instead sending real coupons to a manufacturer that created counterfeited versions of them. There were three women involved in the case: Robin Ramirez, Amiko Fountain, and Marilyn Johnson.

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Queenpins directors Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly told The Hollywood Reporter that they called the Arizona-based detective who actually worked on the case, and talked to him about the real-life scam and the impact it had on the economy.

Gita said, "The characters themselves are complete creations. That was something where we just really wanted to say something with these characters and wanted them to be lovable with people rooting for them and it felt like the easiest thing to do was to take that framework but then create our own story and our own characters within that framework of the scam.”

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Where can I watch 'Queenpins'?

Queenpins is now streaming on Netflix, where it garnered 4,400,000 views in just a week. If you can't get enough of Kristen Bell, her 2022 dark comedy/thriller The Woman In the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window is also available to watch on Netflix.

Where are the real-life queenpins now?

After they were caught, the women were charged with forgery, fraud, and counterfeiting. Ramirez, the leader of the group, served three years in prison with seven years probation. Her counterparts were only given seven years of probation. Johnson and Fountain testified against Ramirez, and are believed to still be residing in Arizona.

Ramirez is apparently still on probation due to falling behind on restitution payments. The women have to pay nearly $1.3 million in restitution altogether.

Despite the traction of the film they inspired, the women will not receive payment for the use of their likeness due to Arizona law, which bans criminals from profiting from the sale of their life stories.

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