Stars = profit?

Interesting New York Times piece analysing the relationship between big movie stars and whether their films are succesful or not.A Big Star May Not a Profitable Movie Make - New York Times

'Course, it starts with the schadenfreude-friendly news that Tom Cruise got dropped by Paramount pictures recently, but rather than simply putting the boot into the munchkin scientologist for the next 2000 words, it goes off and digs up some economics. Educational, but a pity really...;-)

Anyway, a quote:

"In one study, Mr. De Vany and W. David Walls, an economist at the University of Calgary, took those factors into account. Looking across a sample of more than 2,000 movies exhibited between 1985 and 1996, they found that only seven actors and actresses — Tom Hanks, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jodie Foster, Jim Carrey, Barbra Streisand and Robin Williams — had a positive impact on the box office, mostly in the first few weeks of a film’s release.

In the same study, two directors, Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone also pushed up a movie’s revenue. But Winona Ryder, Sharon Stone and Val Kilmer were associated with a smaller box-office revenue. No other star had any statistically significant impact at all. So what are stars for? By helping a movie open — attracting lots of people in to see a movie in the first few days before the buzz about whether it’s good or bad is widely known — stars can set a floor for revenues, said Mr. De Vany."

[via boing boing]


Scifilittlemy said...

See I told you Tom Cruise was evil ;)

Reel Fanatic said...

I hope the death of Tom Cruise's deal (though he got a pretty cushy indie one with Mr. Snyder very quickly) signals a death knell for the modern star system and a renewed interest in storytelling .. I know I'm being idealistic, but it sure would be sweet