The NYT has this interesting feature today on some of the possible fallout from the drop-kick that Viacom delivered the other day to Tom Cruise: “A Big Star May Not a Profitable Movie Make.” Why hire a star, if the evidence of financial benefit is so equivocal?
â€œStars help to launch a film. They are meant as signals to create a big opening,â€ he said. â€œBut they canâ€™t make a film have legs.â€
Mr. Ravid, the Rutgers professor, suggests that stars serve as insurance for executives who fear they could be fired for green-lighting a flop. â€œIf they hire Julia Roberts and the film flops, they can say â€˜Well, who knew?â€™ â€ said Mr. Ravid.
In a related spirit, Stephen Colbert (as usual) brings the truth. As Linda Ellerbee used to say, and so it goes.