Skip to comments.A-List Stars Flailing at the Box Office (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 08/21/2009 3:03:59 AM PDT by abb
The spring and summer box office has murdered megawatt stars like Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts, Eddie Murphy, John Travolta, Russell Crowe, Tom Hanks, Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell.
Can Brad Pitt escape?
A-list movie stars have long been measured by their ability to fill theaters on opening weekend. But never have so many failed to deliver, resulting in some rare soul-searching by motion picture studios about why the old formula isnt working and a great deal of anxiety among stars (and agents) about the potential vaporization of their $20 million paychecks.
The cratering of films with big stars is astounding, said Peter Guber, the former chairman of Sony Pictures who is now a producer and industry elder statesman. These supertalented people are failing to aggregate a large audience, and everybody is looking for answers.
Mr. Guber added, Even Johnny Depp starring in the drama Public Enemies didnt exactly deliver a phenomenal result. (The A-list results may be damped partly because Will Smith, a regular summer powerhouse, had no movie open this season.)
Mr. Ferrell bombed in Land of the Lost, a $100 million comedy that sold only $49 million in tickets in North America. Ms. Roberts missed with Duplicity, a $60 million thriller that attracted $40.6 million. Angels & Demons (Mr. Hanks) was soft. The same for The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (Mr. Washington and Mr. Travolta).
Imagine That, starring Mr. Murphy, was such a disaster that Paramount Pictures had to take a write-down. Mr. Sandler? His Funny People limped out of the gate and then collapsed. Some of these may simply have not been very good, but an A-list star is supposed to overcome that.
The gradual trend away from big-star vehicles in the summer has been under way for years.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Make a decent movie and I’ll go see it.
Maybe if the "big stars" would keep their political ignorance to themselves instead of thinking that their opinions matter more than the rest of ours, they wouldn'be be having this problem.
More people have figured out that sober, working people need to stop funding the Left. They have contempt for us. The least we can do is not finance them.
Ping. Must read.
Julie and Julia is a good one.
It’s not just making a decent movie anymore.
I do not care how good a movie is, I will not give a penny to see a movie with say Barbra Streisand or Ms. Garafalo or folks of their liberal ilk.
People are not a impressed with ‘the stars’ as they used to be. Let’s face it, there are no more Bob Hope’s, Jimmy Stewart’s, Cary Grants, Katherine Hepberns, etc.
And all the latest slate of movies are rated ‘R’. I have no desire to see them.
Like another poster said up thread - “Make a decent movie, and I’ll go see it.”
The last time I went to see a movie in a theater was when I paid to see Rocky (Rocky 1).
Some? Some? LOL.
All the movies I’ve tried to watch recently (I’ve grown tired of the oldies, and have taken a look at some recent offerings) can be summed up in one sentence: when are he and she going to “do it?”
That’s it. That’s the whole movie. Well, except for a lot of soul-searching of the self-pity variety on the part of he and she.
Translation: It's now easier for people to warn off their friends from Hollyweird crapola.
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From yesterday’s Dinosaur Media DeathWatch thread.
Twitter Effect rattles Hollywood
Avalanche of raves or pans can be set off before credits stop rolling
By Michael Sragow | email@example.com
August 19, 2009
While word of mouth could always make or break a movie, it usually took days to affect the box office. But the rise of social networking tools like Twitter may be narrowing that time frame to mere hours. And that has Hollywood on edge.
I was really hoping to read that that giant America hater George Looney had failed.
I think it’s a combination of three things.
Young people see movies and young people have become their own stars. They create their own entertainment on the internet starring themselves. Facebook, Blogging, Forums, Youtube, Myspace. Young adults are busy creating & communicating.
Sitting in a movie theater is becoming too passive. Having fun with XBOX or Wii is more fun than 3 hours in a theater.
The third thing is the political. More and more conservatives are choosing not to fund Hollywood and the stars that mock us. I know I have.
There have been a few good offerings...District 9 will surprise the heck out of you, turning the whole Apartheit question and politics on its ear!
I can add one to this list even though it has made a lot of money. The latest Harry Potter episode was probably the most boring sequel since Lucas pontificated on his galaxy far far away with his disastrous prequels.
And don’t forget how theatres have let the in-seat experience go to crap.
I HATE the behavior of TOO MANY of my fellow patrons.
STFU (excuse me) during the movie!!!!
Don’t see a lot of movies, but I’ve never ‘gotten’ Julia Roberts.
Acts like she’s reading cue cards, I also get the feeling she’d be a fright without all the war paint.
I needed a shower after watching that movie.
Perhaps not the worst. movie. ever.
But still pretty. damn. awful.
This only applies to the so-called ‘A’ star list. The movie industry itself is not having a recession like other industries. Movies like ‘Transformer’, ‘Up’, ‘Hangover’, ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Star Trek’ have done quite well. All were released in Summer, and so far each got more than $250m.
I don't go to movies any more but I have a number of nieces and nephews who do. They post a review(mostly on facebook, some twitter) as soon as they get home and the rest of them use that as a guide. They ALL saw Star Trek after one posted a glowing review.
Basically Hollywood can't get away with a strong weekend for a huge stink bomb. It stand or falls on its own merit and they're surprised that a Will Ferrel movie bombs? He's funny occasionally but he does movies every week.
Ridiculous ticket prices + lousy movies = you lose
Maybe if the “big stars” would keep their political ignorance to themselves instead of thinking that their opinions matter more than the rest of ours, they wouldn’be be having this problem.
I guess you and I just don’t get it! We’re supposed to be content with our status as the ‘little people’. You know, the unsophisticated, culturally ignorant trailer trash who bow to those above us.
I liked ‘Julie & Julia’ too. I thought Meryl Streep captured the essence of Julia Child.
And, the fact that the citizens are now getting it is terrific.
I think she is a fright WITH make-up. I have never seen her as a pretty woman.
I was really hoping to read that that giant America hater George Looney had failed.
When was the last good movie he made or the last positive thing he ever said about this country? Some people might think Oceans 11. I stopped watching him after ‘O Brother Where Art Thou. And I can’t even remember if that movie was made before or after Oceans 11.
The funniest line was, "If I were a Republican, I would have fired you." But, unfortunately, the filmmakers didn't realize that it was.
Maybe if they didn't take a beloved, albeit cheesy, KIDS program that many of us feel nostalgic about and turn it into a soft porn flick, we might actually go see it. Idiots.
They’ve destroyed the illusion. I can’t watch any of those stars without constantly replaying their political comments telling ME that my beliefs are stupid and archaic.
And they are certainly free and welcome to share their points of view. They just need to know that it turns people off. I’ve noticed that very few of the younger stars are quite as outspoken. They’re still amassing their fortune and are a little more careful about alienating their audience.
Don’t know if I’ve reached grumpy old man status but the plot and pacing of most modern films have been made subordinate to ‘vehicles’ for various stars...the result is usually an ego-trip devoid of entertainment.
Even when Redford, Newman, Hoffman, Hackman et al were in their prime each film promised a new fully-formed character, a supporting cast that supported the story, not the star and a directorial ‘feel’ that was maintained throughout the film.
Even today’s so-called blockbusters have a cynical sling-it-against-the-wall feel. A good earner will generate a sequel no matter how much the parties involved protest. A bad earner will simply be forgotten by all. So much for art.
Economics is, of course, why the A-list system works (or perhaps no longer does, according to the article).
Film making is a high-risk, high-reward business. If a film works, it will make gazillions, but no more than one, maybe two, out of ten will be “box-office smashes”. Another two to three of the ten will do “ok”, get their seed money back, perhaps a little more. The rest bomb. With production costs running into the hundreds of millions these days, its no wonder companies will do anything to try and ensure success. This is one reason why there are so many sequels about. The idea is that if a formula is a winner, then theres a better chance that it will win again. Its also why “stars” are paid such fantastic sums. If they can guarantee that a film “opens”, then that is worth ten million dollars to the production companies. Finally, it helps to explain why films are so tawdry these days. To increase their “sellability”, they are made to appeal to as many people as possible, which usually means they resort to the lowest possible common denominator (sex and violence). The net result is we end up with films that most people will “put up with”, rather than some people will actually enjoy.
> Maybe if the “big stars” would keep their political ignorance to themselves instead of thinking that their opinions matter more than the rest of ours, they wouldn’be be having this problem.
If only they understood how stupid they appear when they open their mouths and spew socialist or unAmerican b.s.
I HATE the behavior of TOO MANY of my fellow patrons.
Here's my big gripe about movie theaters nowadays:
1) The cost of a ticket is getting ridiculous--especially evening showings!
2) The price of concessions is WAY too high for what you get--theater owners are just too dependent on concession sales to make a profit.
3) The sound and projection quality is getting increasingly subpar if you don't watch a movie in a THX-certified theater.
4) Unless you go to a newer theater, seating is increasingly uncomfortable.
5) The movie audience is getting very rude (like not turning off or disabling the audible tones on cellphones and pagers and talking during the film). I myself blame the TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000 for being a HUGELY bad influence on moviegoers because that TV show encouraged people to talk during a film.
6) Too many films espouse the hard-Left views of the producer of the film or the stars in the film.
And you wonder why people are snapping up flat-panel widescreen TV's and home theater systems despite the high initial cost.
Also, due to the social effects of liberalism the audiences have become so unruly and inconsiderate that they detract substantially from the overall experience.
And, to tell you the truth, I'm discovering that I have other things I enjoy doing every bit as much - and which are healthier for me.
I guess all the liberals in Hollywood must be sincere - they are certainly putting their money where their mouths are in terms of lost box office sales.
“Third floor in the Sacramento Bee building seems empty”
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Thank you for cutting to the chase.
You should have seen Rocky III. Rocky III was the best Rocky since Rocky I. Except for maybe Rocky II.
True. So far this summer I’ve seen Watchmen, Coraline, Star Trek, Harry Potter and Transformers. Watchmen and Coraline were my favorites. Around here we catch a matinee for five bucks or wait til it shows at the dollar movie. The matinees aren’t crowded.
From the Sac Bee comments.....
“LIke the Donner Party too. In order to survive, they’re compelled to eat their own. Thus the ghost floor, littered with bones.”
Meanwhile in Washington the San Francisco congressional delegation is working overtime to infrct America with the California plague
The thing is, hes right and obviously so. Digital has done nothing to staunch the demise of newspapers like WaPo (NYT the verdict is still out), but it has cost them a lot of money.
Blaming the Editors