Thursday, April 18, 2024

Hollywood: Stars Falling as Sean Penn, Reese, Will, Depp, Vaughn Lose Footing with Box Office Busts


The stars you knew may not be the stars you know. The big names we’ve been used to simply are not drawing in paid customers the way they used to.

Will Smith‘s latest, “Focus,” is a flop. Its second weekend sealed its doom as “Focus” has now made just over $30 million in ten days of release. That used to be the 1st day take for a Will Smith movie. “Focus” will peter out at about $65 million.

Reese Witherspoon won the Oscar for “Walk the Line” back in 2006. That’s NINE years ago. Her last actual hit movie was “Four Christmases” at the end of 2008 with Vince Vaughn as her co-star. This year she was nominated for “Wild,” which earned around $40 mil worldwide, and few people saw. She was in “The Good Lie,” which made under $3 million.

Coincidentally, Vince Vaughn also nose dived after “Four Christmases.” He had a lame hit in 2009 with “Couples Retreat” and then it all went downhill. His new one this week, “Unfinished Business,” is a total loss.

Johnny Depp
, we know, is a goner. “Mortdecai” is a catastrophe– $7.6 million domestic, $22.7 million U.S. Soon his list of failures may affect his “Pirates” movies. His non “Pirates” movies are walking the plank.

Hugh Grant? So charming for so many years. “The Rewrite” went straight to DVD last month. Grant next appears as Mr. Waverly in “The Man from UNCLE.” That’s a third or fourth banana spot. Once, he could have played Napoleon Solo.

The next big test? Sean Penn in “The Gunman.” The Oscar winner, political activist and philanthropist has not had anything resembling a hit since 2005 and “The Interpreter” which made only $72 million. So far “The Gunman” has a Zero rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s painful when the generations of box office attractions changes. But that’s what’s going on. We all feel older because of it!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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