Box Office Poison

The year 2009 has been a financial disaster for nearly every industry save one: the motion-picture business. Hollywood's box office receipts are up nearly 20 percent from 2008. The eight most successful movies over the course of the year's first eight months have collectively grossed $2.7 billion, up from $2.3 billion for the entirety of 2008. And what is most striking about these eight films is that not a single one of them, not a single one, features an unmistakable star.

Three of them are cartoons (Up, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, and Monsters vs. Aliens). Three are sequels whose top-line talents are incidental to their success (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the sixth Harry Potter, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine). Two feature relative nobodies (Star Trek and The Hangover)....

Contains Mention
Sep 21st 2009
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