Grantland: The Movie Star

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Goaldeje

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Interesting article. Page 2 where William Goldman says Will Smith is our only star these days was really interesting. I know growing up, Harrison Ford was money, as was Bruce Willis, Arnold, Sly, etc. To think we really only have one guaranteed money-maker movie star right now is kinda weird.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6716942/the-movie-star


None other than the great William Goldman disagrees with me. He believes that we have one movie star right now and only one: Will Smith.13 I find this depressing since these were Smith's past eight movies …

Men In Black II
Bad Boys II
I-Robot
Hitch
The Pursuit of Happyness
I Am Legend
Hancock
Seven Pounds

That's nine years of work: one alien sequel, one buddy-cop sequel, two futuristic/apocalyptic action movies, one superhero movie, one romantic comedy and two overly sappy dramas. My favorite of those efforts, by default, was The Pursuit of Happyness. I'm a sucker for "father and son hit rock-bottom, bond, then eventually turn things around" movies dating back to Kramer vs. Kramer, and only because my parents got divorced and I spent two years living in with my father in a Boston apartment, sleeping on a sofa bed, eating grilled cheeses and going to Celtics games. Throw an alien in there and I think I'd have the plot for Will Smith's next movie.

Goldman's argument is simple: He believes Smith is our only movie star because every one of his movies makes money. Lots and lots of money. If you trade for LeBron, you're guaranteed 82 games, 26 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 50 percent shooting for every regular-season game, followed by a mysterious collapse in a huge playoff series. If you fund a Will Smith movie, you're guaranteed a $150 million worldwide gross … minimum. It's impossible NOT to make money from Will Smith. He's a sure thing. He's foolproof.
 

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If you fund a Will Smith movie, you're guaranteed a $150 million worldwide gross … minimum. It's impossible NOT to make money from Will Smith. He's a sure thing. He's foolproof.
But he ain't bonafide...
 

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Hmmm...I'm not so sure about Goldman's assessment-or at least in how long it may hold. I may wind up doing some digging but I would think that if you keep the time frame recent that Smith's box-office drawing ability might be challenged by DeCaprio and Depp-or possibly even Ben Stiller or-and this one destroys most of the hope I may have had for humanity's future-Adam Sandler.
 

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I'd say Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey, and a few others still drive pretty good movie profits...
 

Goaldeje

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Hmmm...I'm not so sure about Goldman's assessment-or at least in how long it may hold. I may wind up doing some digging but I would think that if you keep the time frame recent that Smith's box-office drawing ability might be challenged by DeCaprio and Depp-or possibly even Ben Stiller or-and this one destroys most of the hope I may have had for humanity's future-Adam Sandler.

Simmons writes that all of Smith's movies from Idenpendence Day on have grossed over 150M. Leo's Body of Proof a couple of years ago grossed less than it's budget at 80M. Sandler and Stiller have had some stinkers too.

Simmons' point is that Smith figured out the formula early on: aliens + love interest = high grossing movie, and he went after that market hard. And has been very successful with it. The shame of it is that Smith probably could have been more successful than he will end of being, or at least more versatile. Leo tries many varied roles and movies, whereas the Fresh Prince figured out his niche and sticks with it.
 

Goaldeje

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I'd say Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey, and a few others still drive pretty good movie profits...

I'll be curious to see how Larry Crowne does. Tom hanks is definitely a star, but even he couldn't save the Ladykillers a few years back. Cruise has the Oprah/Scientology baggage to contend with, and McConaughey put out the same damn movie everytime, and people seem to have caught up with that.

All three are solid bets, but not 100% guaranteed.
 

Goaldeje

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http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/12/15/who-are-decades-highest-grossing-actors/

These guys are saying its either Orlando Bloom or Emma Watson. Orlando did star in all the LOTR and Pirates movies so he definitely made some bank but I dont call those his movies.

Have you guys seen Seven Pounds? I actually ended up buying it after watching it with my ex. that movie was amazing and the twist at the end was one I didnt see coming. And Im usually pretty good at figuring them out.
Please. That list is crazy. I had to click the link to figure out who Emma Watson is, and my kids love the Harry Potter movies and books. And LOTR was no more a star vehicle for Orlando Bloom than it was for Elijah Wood. Viggo Mortensen, maybe. But still a huge stretch.
 

Goaldeje

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Sorry Mike, wasn't attacking you, was going after the article. Should have made that clear, sorry.
Posted via BGO Mobile Device
 

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What about Clooney? Pitt? Jolie? All make money on pretty bad films...
Don't forget Cage. Maybe not every single movie but every 2 out of 3 are money makers with this guy and those movies are not the stuff good ole' Oscar would honor.
 

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His best movies didn't make much money - Matchstick Men, Leaving Las Vegas, etc. But yeah, Cage is pretty terrible (except for MM, love that movie and Cage's performance in it).
 

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Nic Cage is horrible!! lol

the last good movie he had was Kick Ass and i dont think he was the reason at all. before that i think Lord of War was good but that was 2005.
I didn't say Cage was a good actor...in fact, he's horrible, but he made tremendous money with the National Treasure series. Even the terrible Scorceror's Apprentice grossed over 150 million as of last year.
 

Goaldeje

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I didn't say Cage was a good actor...in fact, he's horrible, but he made tremendous money with the National Treasure series. Even the terrible Scorceror's Apprentice grossed over 150 million as of last year.

True. However, Season of the Witch hasn't cleared 25M, on a budget of 40M. Drive Angry, according to IMDB has yet to clear 11M, on a budget of 50M. Bad Liuetenant hasn't cleared 2M on a budget of 25M. I could go on, I'm sure, but you get the idea. Goldman, through Simmons, was saying that Will Smith will get you 150M with ANY movie he puts out. ANYTHING. Nic Cage isn't on that level.

For some reason, Hollywood wants us to think he is. Not sure why, but they keep pushing him on us, but it's time they face facts. He sucks.
 

Goaldeje

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face off killed travolta and cage for me..i really cant stand him.

Really? I didn't hate that movie. Con Air did it for me. That should have been a really fun movie, but I couldn't get past his "accent". Ruined the whole damn thing for me.
 

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True. However, Season of the Witch hasn't cleared 25M, on a budget of 40M. Drive Angry, according to IMDB has yet to clear 11M, on a budget of 50M. Bad Liuetenant hasn't cleared 2M on a budget of 25M. I could go on, I'm sure, but you get the idea. Goldman, through Simmons, was saying that Will Smith will get you 150M with ANY movie he puts out. ANYTHING. Nic Cage isn't on that level.

For some reason, Hollywood wants us to think he is. Not sure why, but they keep pushing him on us, but it's time they face facts. He sucks.
He used to be. The last 5 years he has simply gone for the payday and Disney keeps paying. He doesn't seem to care. 5 Years ago, you could bet Nic Cage was a definite earner. I was wrong to put the number at 2 out of 3 for him today.
 

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