Summer B.O. Blame Game Has Already Started

By Celluloid Junkie Staff | August 21, 2009 1:51 am PDT

Apparently the stars are to blame for not delivering more hits this summer, which appropriately enough finished this past weekend with the star-less sci fi film District 9 taking the top spot. Not that it was a bad summer, since early reports indicate that there is a year-on-year increase for 2009 so far. It is just that the hits were not delivered by the actors with $20m pay packets, according to the New York Times:

The gradual trend away from big-star vehicles in the summer has been under way for years.

At the start of the decade, summer still belonged to names: Cruise (“Mission Impossible II”), Crowe (“Gladiator”) and Clooney (“The Perfect Storm”) were the top three in 2000. But the three biggest films of this summer season, a crucial period from May 1 to Labor Day that typically accounts for 40 percent of annual ticket sales, have been “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” “Up” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

The fading ability of Hollywood stars to command box-office attention, and why that is happening, has been a perennial topic in Hollywood. And economists and academics have long argued that marquee names are not worth their expense.

The biggest names attached to those films: Shia LaBoeuf, Ed Asner and Daniel Radcliffe.

So are the studios going to stop using stars? No, they will simply ask them to take a pay cut as they always have. And further into the article the blame falls on social networking and Twitter – as discussed below.