“Here’s an easy one: What do George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Reese Witherspoon, Adam Sandler, Mila Kunis, Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper have in common?” asks movie and pop culture writer Stephanie Merry in The Washington Post.
The answer, besides the obvious note that they’re all A-list stars in Hollywood, is that they’ve all starred in some of the biggest box office flops of 2015.
“And they’re not the only A-listers who have failed get moviegoers to theaters,” Merry writes. “A year of high-profile bombs that kicked off with ‘Mortdecai’ and ‘Jupiter Ascending’ has culminated in a few more failures in the last couple weeks. ‘By the Sea’ barely made a splash despite the star power of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt; ‘Our Brand Is Crisis’ tanked, even though it starred Sandra Bullock; and this past weekend, the combined wattage of Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor wasn’t enough to get audiences interested in ‘Secret in Their Eyes.'”
The piece poses the question, “Why do studios put so much faith in big-name actors when they clearly aren’t reliable money-makers?,” and adds: “The belief that a movie is only marketable if it has a major star is antiquated but also stubbornly commonplace.”
The paradigm may be shifting, according to the analysis, which notes: “People used to say they were heading to ‘the new Tom Hanks movie,’ as if the star of a film trumped the subject matter. But we don’t talk in those terms anymore.”
We encourage readers to click on the link near the top of this story to read Merry’s full analysis.