[Guest post by DRJ]
George Clooney’s movie Leatherheads – he directs and stars – opened to a disappointing third place this weekend:
“The movie that George Clooney directed, starred in and overhauled the script for, Leatherheads, stumbled badly at the box office this weekend, making only $12.5 million from 1,769 theaters and finishing only No. 3. (Interestingly, the pic’s studio, Universal, claimed it was No. 2, but every other Hollywood major had it as No. 3 behind Sony’s 21 and Fox/Walden’s Nim’s Island.) The screwball comedy about the early days of football was seen in Hollywood as a referendum on Clooney’s popularity at the box office. Because right now he is a big movie star but not a big box office star, and his hefty paydays in big studio projects like this definitely depend on the latter.
But Hollywood was aghast that Clooney couldn’t open his movie. (As one studio mogul said to me, “He’s no Will Smith.”)”
The movie’s distributor even wondered why movie-goers aren’t flocking to Clooney’s film:
“I’m disappointed for us, I’m disappointed for George. I think he’s a great guy, and think he’s got tons of directing talent,” said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal. “I wish I could have that crystal ball and tell you what went wrong.”
I think it’s one of two reasons: Either movie-goers are tired of stars who use their celebrity to make political points, thereby making even their non-politicized products less entertaining to the average person.
Or Clooney is no Will Smith.