Robert Pattinson’s Success, Jim Carrey’s Failure Prompt Hollywood Salary Cuts

Hollywood has finally realized there is a direct correlation between the millions of bones that A-listers try to negotiate from studios and rapidly drying revenue streams that said studios can offer. You see, the Jim Carrey-led A Christmas Carol, which is like the 482,094th adaptation of that particular tale, failed to set the box office on fire. That, along with a string of flops from alleged goldmines like Bruce Willis, Julia Roberts, and Adam Sandler is moving the overlords of the Hills to seriously reconsider whether these household names are worthy of their steep asking prices.

Especially in the Twilight age, where films with relative unknowns and smaller budgets are flourishing without fail. Producers and studios are learning it’s making less and less sense to pay out for big stars. Especially when overnight tabloid sensations may be made out of anyone peripherally featured in Twilight or similar break-out films. Examples of small-time pics netting big-time profits have been around for years now. Of course, Hollywood is the last horse to cross the finish line, finally figuring out that movies with solid plots are almost always preferable to meandering messes anchored by self-important celebrities.

One such example is Precious. So far, in its limited, two-week release, the flick has nearly recouped its entire $10 million production budget, led by an effervescent first-timer and a cast of performers not reputed for their multimillion-dollar movie quotes.

A more obvious case study is the 2003 Katie Holmes-starrer Pieces of April which, at the last minute, found its budget sliced down a measly $300,000, but still grossed over $3 million worldwide with next to no major studio support. Earlier that same year, Bend It Like Beckham, made on a $5 million budget, went on to gross over $75 million worldwide. It also kick-started the American careers of actors Keira Knightley and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

While we could go on about how, “Oh mercy me! The age of the true Hollywood star is dead! We’re so post-celebrity!” but probably shouldn’t let our bobbleheads rattle off so zealously. With movie tickets costing well above $10 these days, even previously undiscerning customers are being forced to invest wisely. After all, a recent time where people bought into a movie on star-power alone, they were treated to the mess of Gigli, which made Cruel Intentions 3 look like Basic Instinct. Perhaps a proper slice’n’dice can get some of the too-comfortable A-listers to stop phoning it in, as Erin Brockovich and Vivian Ward probably shouldn’t be sharing the same world view, let alone the same speech patterns.

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