Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hollywood is No Country for Young Men or Old Women

Here's the list of the Top Money-Making Stars of 2010 as voted by motion picture exhibitors in Quigley Publishing Company's 79th annual poll.

RankActorGenderAgeLifetime U.S. Box Office
1Johnny DeppMale47$2,731,758,969
2Angelina JolieFemale35$1,607,756,601
3Robert Downey, Jr.Male45$1,989,876,295
4Matt DamonMale40$2,511,475,356
5Steve CarellMale48$1,616,882,568
6Tom HanksMale54$4,408,107,253
7Denzel WashingtonMale56$1,833,794,005
8Leonardo DiCaprioMale36$1,883,672,916
9George ClooneyMale49$1,750,939,442
10Anne HathawayFemale28$1,188,233,811

What's striking is there isn't a man on this list under 35, or a woman over 35. Not that it's any suprise that Hollywood is no country for young men or old women.

Now if this were a different industry, such as college sports with Title IX, Hollywood would have to make one bug budget movie starring a woman for every one starring a man. But, of course, Hollywood already does that to a large extent, they are called romantic comedies.

Perhaps more draconian measures are in order, such as the CAFE standards where Detroit auto companies must sell a certain number of subcompact hybrid cars for every sport utlity vehicle to balance the gas mileage of the fleet. But are you ready to stand in line for a Johhny Depp movie at the megaplex waiting for someone to buy a ticket to see Anne Hathaway?

From another perspective, all of these actors have been in show business for more than 10 years. So these slots have been earned over a series of films by actors willing to work for a decade or longer on their craft.

And where are the women of a certain age who aren't on the list? Well here are 10 more women who were did $100 million or more at the U.S box office in 2010.

RankActorGenderAgeLifetime U.S. Box Office
1Cameron DiazFemale38$2,707,789,729
2Gwyneth PaltrowFemale38$1,752,156,187
3Cate BlanchettFemale41$2,038,042,217
4Julia RobertsFemale43$2,523,519,818
5Helena Bonham CarterFemale44$2,128,001,715
6Joan CusackFemale48$1,881,735,102
7Sigourey WeaverFemale61$2,409,910,544
8Meryl StreepFemale61$1,751,561,404
9Kathy BatesFemale62$2,561,897,494
10Maggie SmithFemale76$2,527,327,957

That list does not look so shabby in comparison to Quigley's list. So maybe the motion picture exhibitors don't know as much as they think they know. Or maybe they just didn't like Valentine's Day. But I think maybe Hollywood women just need better publicists.

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