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The casualties this winter were staggering. Will Smith (Focus), Channing Tatum (Jupiter Ascending), Chris Hemsworth (Blackhat) and Sean Penn (The Gunman) crashed and burned in flashy vehicles designed to trade on their star power. Even Liam Neeson, so reliable in the Taken franchise, stumbled with the knockoff Run All Night. At the same time, February’s Fifty Shades of Grey and its $560 million gross minted two new stars in Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. Or did it?
Such is the tricky nature of star power these days: Actors toplining a movie that grosses hundreds of millions aren’t necessarily worth much outside the franchise. Ask Johnny Depp, once a $20 million man for even midbudget dramas, who now finds himself crawling back to Pirates of the Caribbean and Alice in Wonderland sequels after pricey flops Transcendence and Mortdecai. Hovering over the movie business isn’t just the question of who’s the next generation of stars, it’s whether this generation matters at all to audiences, and if so, how studios put a price on that allegiance. Sure, Matt Damon probably is worth the $20 million he’s getting for a new Bourne movie. But how much is Miles Teller worth in Fantastic Four? THR asked experts — studio execs and agents making the deals — to come up with an assessment of the state of the actor economy. Call it the New A-List. — Matthew Belloni
Read more from The Hollywood Reporter‘s New A-List issue below.
‘Game of Thrones’ Star Emilia Clarke on Playing Sarah Connor, Turning Down ‘Fifty Shades’ and Moving on From Nudity
Power, pay and prestige: Everyone in the town wants some, and Clarke, star of HBO’s massive hit, just happens to have a little more than other actresses right now, as she commands $7 million a season, gets billing above Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator and cuts back on nude scenes: “There are other women who remove items of clothing on our show, so they’ve kind of got my nipple count down now.” Read the story.
From Christian Bale to Benedict Cumberbatch: Why British Actors Nab So Many American Roles
A casting agent who has worked on Batman Begins and X-Men: First Class explains why so many actors from across the pond are cast as superheroes and in other roles requiring U.S. accents. Read the story.
Why More ‘Star Wars’ Actors Haven’t Become Stars
Six movies in, the franchise has spawned just one megastar: Harrison Ford; even Natalie Portman admits she struggled after appearing in Episodes I-III: “Everyone thought I was a horrible actress. … No director wanted to work with me.” Read the story.
4 Over-60 Actors Who Had Comebacks (and 1 That Fizzled)
Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson are among those who have seen their careers revived in recent years, while Arnold Schwarzenegger has been firing blanks. Read the story.
Leonardo DiCaprio Makes How Much Per Movie? Hollywood’s A-List Salaries Revealed
From Matt Damon to Angelina Jolie, THR reveals how much the industry’s biggest stars are earning for their work on one film. Read the story.
Hollywood’s Indie Darlings: Meet Six In-Demand Actors
From Girls star Adam Driver to Selma‘s David Oyelowo, these six actors and actresses are among indie filmmakers’ top choices. Read the story.
The New A-List: How Bad Boy Alex Pettyfer Got Sidelined
The actor went from starring in two releases — Beastly and I Am Number Four — that opened within days of each other to being called a “nightmare” by one insider who worked with him, despite strong buzz for his performances. Read the story.
The New A-List: What Went Wrong With Taylor Lautner’s Career
The Twilight star reportedly commanded $7.5 million per film at one point, but the offers dried up after 2011’s Abduction. Read the story.
4 Actors (and 1 Actress) Kicking Major Butt on the Big Screen
Chris and Liam Hemsworth and Gal Gadot, who is taking on the role of Wonder Woman, are among the hottest action stars working today. Read the story.
Hollywood’s New Comedy Kings and Queens: Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer and, Yep, Zac Efron
These eight actors and actresses have become the industry’s go-tos when filmmakers are looking to fill funny roles. Read the story.
Hollywood’s New A-List: Lupita Nyong’o, Chris Pratt and the 15 Stars Getting All the Offers
Miles Teller and Emma Stone also are tops on filmmakers’ wish lists.