Have we entered “the post movie-star era”? An era that produces more films with less stars. Over the years the level of success of a movie was determined by the star’s name above the title. That is no longer the case. Looking at the recent box-office figures, storylines seem to draw audiences more than the movie star’s names.
If one had to judge movie stardom by the actors who headline the biggest hits, then one is forced to admit that they are much younger and not exactly huge stars yet. In 2007 it was:
Shia Leboeuf (Transformers) Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Tobey Maguire (Spiderman)
Each film took more than $200 million dollars at the box office, including low budget “Juno” with Oscar-nominated Ellen Page, which grossed $138 million dollars domestically.
However, despite the huge success of the movie, Page is unlikely to get an eight-figure contract for her next projects the way her older colleagues such as Julia Roberts, would have gotten a few years ago.
It seems that what appealed to audiences was the originality of the storyline, and the sharp-written screenplay, indispensable ingredients for today’s Hollywood blockbusters franchise.
Today star vehicle keep tanking, one reason is that, to many stars “being in a string of hits is no longer that appealing. Many of them have now an obvious taste for off-Hollywood projects, which can be made thanks to them.
Today Hollywood is getting most of its revenue from no-name epics and animated features. So Hollywood big studio heads will soon realize that big names no longer mean huge profits.