If you were asked to name a young Hollywood star today whose name attached to a project alone has the ability of commanding large audiences to see a film, who comes to mind?
We asked our HB followers the same question, and the response was interesting.
Opinion: Who is a young Hollywood star today whose name attached to a film alone has the ability of commanding large audiences? #TellUs!
— Hollywood Branded (@Hollywood_PR) November 26, 2013
Based on the responses gathered, a couple things were noted: 1.) They were primarily female, and 2.) Of the males, an overwhelming majority was above the age of 30.
Female stars named varied from legitimate answers, such as 16-year-old rising actress Chloe Moretz, to more questionable responses such as Lindsay Lohan, now 27 (Though one could argue that her heyday, aka the ‘Mean Girls’ era, Lohan absolutely drew audiences.) The average age of the actresses named was 21 years young.
There seems to be a serious shortage when it comes to male stars under 40 who have the star power to command audiences, even if the movie is a flop. Who are the young Tom Cruises and Brad Pitts of our time?
There seems to be less faith in bankable male stars today, largely due to the content of popular films. Action-adventure films are increasingly popular, and these films aren’t the type to have all of the success weighing on one lead actor.
Young male leads some of our followers replied with included Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Robert Pattinson and Liam Hemsworth. While they are certainly valid responses, none have had the box office pull of a young Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt.
Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are no doubt two of young Hollywood’s biggest actors, and each has had a number of successful projects to boast. However, it is safe to say that the successes of their films have not ridden entirely on the fact that their names were attached, or else they wouldn’t have also seen their fair share of flops (White House Down for Channing, Premium Rush for JGL). Robert Pattinson became a worldwide sensation immediately after the first Twilight film, yet his die hard fans failed to make as strong a showing at the cinema for Water for Elephants.
Liam Hemsworth – who until the Hunger Games franchise was little-known aside from the role on the Nicholas Sparks book adaptation where he met his famous ex-fiancée – is only 23 years old, and has potential to become a box office heart throb. One can viably argue that these young men have time to grow with the right film opportunities into legends of their own.
Today, the male stars with true star influence at the cinema are Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Johnny Depp… all of whom are not exactly spring chickens anymore. Even the big action films star aging actors such as Tom Cruise, Liam Neeson and Bruce Willis, who are still hugely popular.
Have all the great stories been told already? With the influx of upcoming sequels that have been set for 2014 — all bringing back original cast members — we are seeing the same faces that have been around for the past few decades: Dumb and Dumber To again with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, Eddie Murphy will return to Beverly Hills Cop, and Tom Cruise f0r Top Gun 2.
As male roles and script material possibly narrows, horizons are actually broadening for female talent. There is more opportunity for women in entertainment, as the media landscape is shifting in numerous areas. Not only are attitudes changing, but there are more females in directorial roles and writing scripts. These combined factors mean more scripted content allowing females to take on multi-faceted, diverse, and leading roles.
The advancement of leading females in Hollywood should not mean the extinction of the powerful, young leading male, and surely there is room for both. Perhaps it is not a shortage of talent, but a shortage of opportunities that would allow that talent to shine.