Rendered irrelevant

Posted by · 8:19 am · December 31st, 2009

At the start of the decade, movie stars were hit by a giant tidal wave. By the end, they had been stomped on by giant robots and kicked into a flaming abyss. Over the past 10 years, digital spectacles have become a bigger draw than famous actors.

The lede on Anthony Breznican’s USA Today story wrapping up the decade in movies.  Great minds think alike.

→ 2 Comments | Filed in: Daily

2 responses so far

  • 1 12-31-2009 at 12:06 pm

    frank said...

    Ugh… this is a half-truth was of looking at it; it’s a total mirage; I don’t understand why people don’t see it.

    Spectacles were always the bigger draw; at least, they have been for the past 30 to 40 years. Look, I get not a lot of the top 25 earners this year were star driven. But really, if you look at the last few decades, the majority of the mega-hits weren’t necessarily star vehicles, as much as they were event (and more recently, animated) films. Think Pixar movies, early 90s Disney, Star Wars series, Alien, E.T., Batman, etc. These movies weren’t making money on the “star.”

    To me, the true power of a star is their ability to get you to come see something that isn’t the event movie of the summer or a cute animated/family film. In other words—the movie becomes an event because of the star. Robert Downey Jr. (the newest big star on the block) just did that with Sherlock Holmes. Brad Pitt did it with Inglorious Basterds. Sandra Bullock did it twice. Vin Diesel (in his signature role) brought people back to his Fast and Furious franchise (I know he’s not a star necessarily, but the grosses on this movie were almost all him). Johnny Depp did all right with Public Enemies. Meryl had Julie and Julia. The star system does still exist.

    Meanwhile, the most bankable star on earth—Will Smith–didn’t make a movie this year and may not churn out one for next year either (this obviously hurts my case; if he was churning out films, they’d have made money). The other big bankable name from the aughts—Adam Sandler—went more dramatic this year and it burned him, as it always does. Look for him to return to form with Grownups next year.

    All that said, lets see how things play out in a few years. I do agree with comments in the last post about it being a time of transition for movie stars. Many of the big stars of decades past—Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Will Smith—cultivated their bankability in event films. Maybe we’ll see Chris Pine, Daniel Radcliffe, Robert Pattison, Shia LeBeouf, and/or Sam Worthington become draws in the future. The latter two clearly seem to be trying to go that route.

  • 2 12-31-2009 at 12:06 pm

    frank said...

    way of looking at it*