June 17 - Star-driven movies have been box office busts this summer- with most of them fading from theatres before hitting their expected blockbuster status. Bobbi Rebell reports
The latest Superman - "Man of Steel" - had the biggest June opening ever- blowing past the expected heroes of summer: Think Will Smith- star of the flop- After Earth, and Tom Cruise- star of the already fading Oblivion. Man of Steel was this year's second-biggest debut weekend- behind only Iron Man 3-another superhero franchise film. Media Tech Capital Partners' Porter Bibb: SOUNDBITE: PORTER BIBB, MANAGING PARTNER, MEDIA TECH CAPITAL PARTNERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The star is no longer the drawing power because he is not recognizable necessarily out of the U.S. and even in the U.S there is so much fragmentation of entertainment media now that the star is much less important." This year the flops have been piling up: Stallone had a stinker with "Bullet to the Head" - it didn't even hit $10 million. Schwarzenegger's "The Last Stand" fell on its feet- bringing in just $12 million. "Broken City" with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe broke down at less than $20 million. And recently Will Smith's "After Earth" and the Vince Vaughn-Owen Wilson vehicle "The Internship" melted at the box office. Bibb says international sales used to be about half the box office for Hollywood- but now that's closer to 75 percent- and growing. SOUNDBITE: PORTER BIBB, MANAGING PARTNER, MEDIA TECH CAPITAL PARTNERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There is a huge hunger for American blockbuster movies that don't particularly emphasize the stars. They emphasize special effects and a recognizable franchise, a character like Iron Man or Superman or Batman or even somebody, a theme like Fast and Furious which is one of the most successful and profitable franchises that Hollywood has ever enjoyed." Producers enjoying the success of the latest Superman- it raked in $125 million including early screenings opening weekend- according to Box Office.com- and almost $72 million overseas. Not bad for considering its total budget of $225 million and a leading man unknown to much of the world.