The Chicken Or The Egg Movie Question

While the Wall Street Journal notes that Universal brought in two other directors to “fix” the $175 million movie “Doolittle” which has received only a 13% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes (compared to a 90% rating for “1917”), the more interesting statistic is in the chart regarding the movie career of Robert Downey, Jr. (below).


The seminal question about actors is what sells the movie to the public?

Is it the “A-list” actor or the film itself (the story, the characters, the plot, the time period, etc.)?

The stats on Mr. Downey appear to indicate that his success is based on his appearing in “franchise” comic book movies.

And, from the article it appears that, notwithstanding his $20 million fee and gross revenue percentage take, his face alone will not rescue a film that has him extracting debris from an animal’s rectum.

It would be interesting to see if other “stars” careers have a similar trajectory.

About JeffKoeppel

I am a corporate/securities attorney in the Washington, DC area. Prior to joining the firm, I was a Senior Attorney Advisor in the Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. I am a member of the Bars of the States of Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia. You can also follow this blog on LinkedIn at:
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