Apr 23, 2010

More falling stars...

"Jim Carrey’s A Christmas Carol and Yes Man were box-office disappointments and indie gay romance I Love You Philip Morris is currently on the shelf, caught in a distribution quagmire. What should the 48-year-old comedian do" — Indiewire
"Movie stars, who not so long ago vied to make $20 million or even $25 million a picture, have seen their upfront salaries shrink in the last several years as DVD sales fell, star-driven vehicles stumbled at the box office and studios grew increasingly tightfisted. Most of the three-dozen or so top-billed actors in the 10 films up for best picture in this Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, including blockbusters like "Up" and "Avatar," appear to have received relatively minuscule upfront payments for their work... Peter Dekom, a film industry lawyer who co-wrote the book "Not on My Watch: Hollywood vs. the Future," pegged the general devaluation of movie stars to a lack of interest among younger viewers. "Stars don’t resonate with the ‘what’s next’ " crowd, theorized Dekom. "They attract an over-30 audience, which is going to the movies less in an impaired economy." — NYT

"Land of the Lost"'s dismal box office helped land star Will Ferrell at the top of our annual list of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Stars... Ferrell's 2008 film "Semi-Pro" earned only $43 million. "Step Brothers" did better with $128 million... For every dollar Ferrell was paid, his films earned an average $3.29. Second-worst? Ewan McGregor. The Scottish actor, best known for his work in films like "Trainspotting" and "Star Wars" (where he played a young Obi-Wan Kenobi), doesn't earn as much as some of the higher-profile actors on our list. But his recent movies have performed poorly, making him a terrible investment for producers. For every dollar McGregor was paid, his films earned an average $3.75.

Besides Will Ferrell, other big names on our list include
Eddie Murphy and Tom Cruise. Murphy (who ranks fourth) has commanded one of the highest quotes in Hollywood for his work in family comedies, thanks to the performance of movies like "The Nutty Professor," which grossed $274 million at the worldwide box office. But lately his return on investment has fallen off a cliff. Last year's "Meet Dave" was a box office disaster, earning only $50 million worldwide. This year's "Imagine That" did even worse, bringing in $18 million. Murphy escaped being named the most overpaid star thanks to 2007's "Norbit," which earned $160 million. For every dollar Murphy was paid, his films earned an average $4.43. Cruise ranks sixth with a return on investment of $7.18. The star has worked out unusual deals on past films where he takes nothing up front in return for a large chunk of first-dollar gross -- that means on stinkers like "Lions For Lambs," Cruise earned even if the studio (in this case, his studio, United Artists) didn't recoup its money. These are just the kinds of deals studios are trying to avoid." — Forbes


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