Ed Driscoll

Good Night, And Good Luck

Nikke Finke writes:

It’s now abundantly clear that Clooney’s domestic popularity as an actor isn’t what the media or Hollywood thinks it is. After all, his Warner movie is one of the best reviewed this early fall (90% on Rotten Tomatoes). But except for his ensemble movies — the franchise Ocean’s 11, 12 & 13 or A Perfect Storm or Batman & Robin– not one George Clooney-starring movie has ever opened big at the domestic box office despite plenty of hype. But he keeps getting hired as the top salaried star of pics especially at Warner because he’s considered a big name internationally. Such is the decision making of Hollywood.

Didn’t Libertas point this out a couple of weeks ago?

In any case, as I’ve written before, Orson Welles, who, post-Citizen Kane, had enormous difficulty obtaining funding for his movies because of their inevitably low domestic box office returns, would plotz if he saw today’s environment in Hollywood. It’s the norm for Tinseltown to build movie after movie around directors and/or actors who routinely bomb at the US box office. in addition to Clooney, Woody Allen, Rob Reiner, Spike Lee, Sean Penn, Sharon Stone and Nicole Kidman all come immediately to mind as directors and actors who’ve had box office bomb after bomb, yet still are considered “bankable” by studio executives. (See also: the late Robert Altman.)