Which Big Stars Had Films That Were Secretly Dumped This Year?
There was a time in the 1990s when Joel Shumacher (The Lost Boys, Falling Down, Batman Forever) was one of the biggest directors around, but the times, they are a-changin'. In a reception quite unlike Schumacher's last small-scaled film, the 2000 Colin Farrell drama Tigerland, the director's new Lionsgate thriller Blood Creek was contractually dumped into a few theaters this past weekend with nary a whiff of press or promotion -- hell, there's not even a trailer.
Schumacher's moved on (he just wrapped the Chace Crawford vehicle Twelve) and Blood Creek's up-and-comers like Michael Fassbender and Henry Cavill will survive this indignity, but they're hardly the only ones to suffer this fate in 2009. Here's a healthy helping of big Hollywood stars who've seen their once-anticipated projects dumped into quiet release this year:
The Marc Pease Experience
High-profile talent: Ben Stiller, Jason Schwartzman
Ben Stiller is about as bankable a comic talent as we have right now, but Paramount utterly buried his Todd Louiso comedy The Marc Pease Experience after its specialty division Paramount Vantage was shuttered, preferring instead to throw studio weight behind Vantage's other orphaned comic vehicle, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard. Stiller's bigger summer comedy, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, opened to $70 million. Marc Pease's opening weekend? $3,000.
High-profile talent: Mickey Rourke, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Diane Lane
This Elmore Leonard crime adaptation is a famous Weinstein Company dump: Originally slated for release in March 2006, the studio pushed it back several times before announcing a DVD release in 2008. Then, when Rourke's star was resurrected by The Wrestler, the Weinsteins briefly reconsidered, promising theatrical bows that would capitalize on Rourke's heat in November 2008 and then January 2009. It was not to be, however, as the film went straight to DVD this past May. That's a rough way to treat Killshot director John Madden, who was once a Weinstein golden boy after delivering them a Best Picture Oscar for Shakespeare in Love in 1998.
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