“The eight most successful movies over the course of the year’s first eight months have collectively grossed $2.7 billion, up from $2.3 billion for the entirety of 2008. And what is most striking about these eight films is that not a single one of them, not a single one, features an unmistakable star. Three of them are cartoons (Up, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, and Monsters vs. Aliens). Three are sequels whose top-line talents are incidental to their success (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the sixth Harry Potter, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine). Two feature relative nobodies (Star Trek and The Hangover). The first traditional star appears in the ninth-place film, which is itself a high-concept sequel in which the star mostly stands around (Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian with Ben Stiller). It’s not until tenth place that a classic vehicle hits the list, Sandra Bullock’s The Proposal. And after that you have to jump down to 15th place to find Tom Hanks in Angels and Demons. Will Ferrell’s movie tanked. Julia Roberts laid an egg. Adam Sandler couldn’t sell a ticket. Johnny Depp disappointed. Denzel Washington and John Travolta bombed together. Instead, the movies whose successes depended on their strong leading performances were the ones featuring the 57-year-old Irishman Liam Neeson (Taken, $145 million) and the out-of-work TV comedian Kevin James (Paul Blart: Mall Cop, $146 million).
“The 2009 box-office numbers offer the most dramatic evidence yet that the system around which the motion-picture business has oriented itself almost since its creation in the early years of the last century–the star system, which it largely invented–has finally reached its end.”
An interesting article and all the celebritards are now on display ceaselessly conveying their sophomoric [for those who went to college] views on politics. For the high school dropouts like Sean Penn, the political lunacy has leached into his ability to draw viewers, and his flicks have flunked one after the other, despite being deemed "critical successes" by other dropouts of his ilk. Of course, John P notes that Hollyweird will be the last place which finally realizes that the electricity is being shut off. Perhaps Bollywood, with its dynamism and exotic energy, and other Asian flicks will now begin to replace the tired self-absorbed Euro-American cynics. Slumdog Millionaire was boffo and who knows.....
Anyway, Tom Hanks, who may be related to Abe Lincoln's lost love Nancy, is a sure draw. Other surprises lurk in the piece:
In the past 25 years the only performer to go a decade without a box-office failure was Tom Hanks. Between 1975 and 2000, the two actors whose movies grossed the largest amounts of money were--this is not a joke--Steve Guttenberg and Dan Aykroyd.
Whatever happened to Steve and Dan? Bad agents?