Home Movies Big Stars Take A Beating at 2010 Summer Box Office

Big stars don’t cry. Hopefully, they’ve made their hundreds of millions and stashed them away for a rainy day.

This summer, there was a generational change and a message at the box office. To wit: spending $150 million on Tom Cruise around the world on a motorcycle with Cameron Diaz is no longer of much interest. “Knight and Day” ends it run essentially, today, with just under $75 million domestic box office returns. That’s half of what it cost, maybe. All in, worldwide, the official total box office is $200 million. But that includes drachmas and pieces of eight. The U.S. box office is Cruise’s worst since 1992. He’s had a great run. Now it’s time to re-evaluate.

Nicolas Cage: “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” won’t hurt Mickey Mouse’s legacy, but Cage took a beating. Disney says it cost $150 million, but you know that means $200 mil including flying everyone around on magic carpets. Domestic receipts are $57 mil, foreign are about the same. What happened to Nicolas Cage? Watch “Family Man” to see the last time he was an actor.

Jonah Hex: Lots of good name actors (Josh Brolin, John Malkovich) but no one wanted to see it. No one. $10.5 million domestic take. It was like burning money. Fortunately, Warner Bros. can afford it. Between “Harry Potter” and “Inception” they’re happy as clams.

The A Team: So much publicity about Bradley Cooper and so little reward. We were inundated with Cooper’s abs all spring, and it was an abs-olute waste of time. Jessica Biel? I’m still not sure what’s going on there career-wise. Fox might break even on this, but it’s doubtful. Luckily, “Wall Street 2” is coming. It’s a hit, and a good movie. There are no avatars but by September 23rd, the adults who like movies will be thirsty for this brand. Michael Douglas and company may be the real A team!

Dinner for Schmucks: I loved this movie. And, I was mostly alone. The title didn’t help. Steve Carell is excellent in it. The script is solid. Jay Roach did a good job. But the audience must have wondered if they were the schmucks, and no one likes being called a schmuck. A marketing misfire. But a video that will have its own life.

PS Even new stars are having a bad time. “Charlie St. Cloud” is a bust. Zac Efron has had a huge push, and little has come from it. Luckily, the movie didn’t cost too much. And “Twelve,” with Chace Crawford of “Gossip Girl” fame, is the worst movie of the year and the biggest financial dud. It will be gone before you finish reading this sentence.

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4 replies to this post
  1. I don’t think it’s fair to “blame” Biel for THE A-TEAM; she was hardly the focus of its marketing. Maybe because I wasn’t expecting much, I actually enjoyed it for what it was – a harmless, action-packed popcorn movie. Same with the critically-reviled CLASH OF THE TITANS, which did clean-up at the box office (about $500 million worldwide).

    The problem with a lot of these films is not that there isn’t an audience out there for them, there is…it’s that they cost too damn much to make and market. That’s what killed PRINCE OF PERSIA (over $300 million ww), THE A-TEAM, KNIGHT & DAY, THE LAST AIRBENDER, etc.

  2. I agree with Roger, it is time for Tom Cruise to take a deep breath and work at his craft and take a cut in salary and stop boring the world with pictures of Suri and Katie, he was a fine actor and it is a shame. Cameron Diaz is a lightweight and always will be and Nicholas Cage does not reflect any depth, just stares at the camera with a ‘hang-dog’ expression, another shame. I don’t know what it takes for actors to ‘grow’ in Hollywood, stop being a star and be an actor, there are truly some of us out here who know the difference.

  3. I didn’t see any of them. None of them, after reading the synopsis appealed to me. To me, it’s not the name star, it’s the review and the storyline. There are some actors who always give good performances in good movies. I mean, you almost can’t miss with Leo and Angelina and Sandra; but Cruise has been in so-so movies, and I haven’t seen Cage since way back. I usually wait for him on DVD and after seeing the Bad Lieutenant, which was a BAD movie, I just cannot watch Cage anymore. There are some directors I die for —
    I always manage to see a Scorcesee movie.

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