Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Movie Stars: Summer Wrap Up

My blog post about the new movie stars posited a list of people who are the biggest name draws now or have the potential to be big draws.  Some of those on this list had movies come out this summer.  So how do they match up against their potential star power?

Let's see:

Jeremy Renner:
photo by Sgt. Michael Connors

The Bourne Legacy opened big, so that is good news for Renner.  But in its second week it lost to the Expendables 2, and R-Rated 80's action all star movie.  Overall, he still is not the main draw, but this Bourne movie will help more than hurt.

Vince Vaughn:
photo by Emily Tan

The Watch only made about $32 million (about half of its budget).  However, this was much more of a Ben Stiller movie with Vaughn in a supporting role.  But he featured so prominently in the trailers that he is tied to the movie's ad campaign very strongly.  He needs to bounce back with a funny starring turn in another comedy.

Robert Downey Jr.:
photo by Edgar Meritano

The Avengers is a success for many reasons, but Downey Jr.'s star power cannot be overlooked.  He was the rock upon which the entire cinematic Marvel Universe was built.  His charm was a big draw to The Avengers and his star power can only increase with Iron Man 3 next year

Emma Stone:
photo by Gerald Geronimo

The Amazing Spider-Man was the 3rd highest grossing film of the summer after The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises.  While she was not the main draw, her performance was excellent and cannot hurt her appeal.

Steve Carrell:
photo by Eva Rinaldi

He had the most disappointing summer of anyone on this list with two misses: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and Hope Springs.  He left The Office to spend more time with his family and do more movies, but he has to pick more popular projects or he will lose any draw that comes with his name.

Joseph Gordon-Leavitt
photo by Gage Skidmore

Though an important part of The Dark Knight Rises, it is very unlikely that he brought in any more people than would have gone in the first place.  But this only raises his profile even more and should help his next two movies.

Now, did this summer MAKE a new star?

This biggest breakout hit was Ted.  This R-Rated Comedy is the 6th highest grossing film of the summer.  This was also the biggest box office for stars Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis.

photo by Eva Rinaldi

Wahlberg has been around for a long time and has been a dependable action and drama guy, but his comedic skills may open up new markets for him and make him a larger draw.
photo by Gage Skidmore

 I don't think Kunis is big enough to open a movie on her name, but she can capitalize on her leading lady status.

photo by Melinda Seckington

Also, Snow White and the Huntsman was the 8th highest grossing film of the summer.  Chris Hemsworth had the one-two punch of The Avengers and this.  It also speaks to the confidence studios have in him (or the lack of confidence in Kristen Stewart) that they are contemplating continuing the Hunstman franchise around him without Snow White.  If any one actor had the most impactful summer, it was Hemsworth.


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