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Hollywood Doesn't Need A-List Actors to Fill Movie Theater Seats

MovieRantby Joey Paur

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Above you will find the highest paid actors in Hollywood.

Hollywood is starting to rethink the use of A-List actors in movies. I have been ranting about this subject for years! A-list high-paid actors and movie stars aren't what makes a good story. They can play a character in that story and do a great job doing it, but there are a ton of other actors out there that could do just as good a job or better. By hiring a lesser known actor, the story will also be more believable. Why is Hollywood paying actors $20 million dollars + to star in a movie, when the movie could end up bombing in the box-office? I don't think these actors fill theaters these days.

Reuters has a great article that talks about this very subject and they make some very good points and offers some great examples like The Hangover, which made $459 million dollars, it was a hilarious story that was fueled by a little known cast. District 9 made over $200 million and everyone in the film was virtually unknown. Then there's the recent hit film Paranormal Activity, which has made over $100 million bucks. Once again, have you ever seen or heard of those actors before? No.

University of Southern California cinema professor Jason E. Squire said,

Nobody says that a big wonderful movie needs to be expensive, it's just that that's been the trend, and perhaps the trend is misguided.


Now lets take a look at some big name actors whose movies flopped at the box-office the last year... Bruce Willis (Surrogates), Adam Sandler (Funny People), Will Ferrell (Land of the Lost), Eddie Murphy (Imagine That) and Julia Roberts (Duplicity). Aside from Funny People, these movie were just awful. I guess Hollywood executives think if they stick an A-List actor in these kinds of films it will compensate for the bad story. Obviously, that's not the case.

Peter Guber, chairman of Mandalay Entertainment and former head of Sony Pictures explains,

The (major movie) machine didn't fly last summer, if you look at the movies and the names, they were not star-driven movies, they really weren't.


Star Trek is one of the best examples of a big blockbuster summer movie that didn't really have any A-List actors. Then look at all the successful franchises that have been launched with lesser known actors, Harry Potter, Twilight, and Lord of the Rings. A-Lister's are getting pretty greedy with how much they are asking for these days as well.

Hollywood insiders say A-lister's currently are having trouble with salary demands in the $15 million range or participation approaching 20 percent of gross profits, deals that were once somewhat common for top talent. Instead, they are being asked to take less money upfront and greater compensation only if a film breaks even.


Why would any studio want to pay someone that much money to be in a film? Sure, it must be nice for the actors that make that much, but studios could save so much money by not going with the big movie stars. Plus, movie posters could look so much better without the giant face of a movie star taking up the whole damn thing. There are other ways to market films than with telling the world who is in it. I think that is the worst way to go about marketing a movie, it's obviously not really working. Bring in the lesser known actors and market the hell out of the story! That's why people go to the movies! To see a story unfold on screen, not to see a movie star in that movie.

If the movie looks good I'll go see it. If it doesn't, I'm out, even if it's a big star in it. For example, I'm extremely excited to see Shutter Island, not because Leonardo DiCaprio is in it, but because I loved the book and the movie looks like it's gonna be awesome. If DiCaprio wasn't in the movie and Scorsese brought in a different actor to play his role, I would still be just as excited to see the movie.

What are your thoughts on the use of A-List actors in Hollywood? Would you care if Hollywood stopped using them?

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