Jennifer Aniston is omnipresent in the culture and she just had a bona fide moviestar launch of The Break-Up--which grossed $38M despite bad reviews and misleading marketing. Give her credit: She opened this picture basically by herself.
But how surprised would you be to learn that this is only the fourth time she's opened a movie over $10M:
Along Came Polly-$27M
Bruce Almighty is a Jim Carey vehicle and Along Came Polly was a Ben Stiller vehicle designed as a pseudo-sequel to Something About Mary. What the success of The Break-Up shows is that, if an actor is forced on audiences enough times, eventually they'll get a hit.
Ben Affleck is another great example of this. After the slow-burn success of Good Will Hunting, Affleck was allowed to ride shotgun alongside Bruce Willis and Michael Bay in Armageddon, after which Hollywood assumed that he was a new leading man. He then bombed five consecutive movies, the biggest opening gross of which was $13.5M for Forces of Nature. He helped Pearl Harbor underperform, bombed again with Changing Lanes, and finally opened The Sum of All Fears to a respectable $31M.
You see similar patterns with Josh Hartnett (who hasn't actually gotten his hit yet) and the former Mr. Jennifer Anniston, Brad Pitt, who after being pulled along by Tom Cruise's coattails in Interview with the Vampire, ran off a string of 8 leading roles without opening a movie above $15M.
Most actors don't get all of these extra chances. But the lesson to studio executives is clear: No matter how many failures a "star" has, if you keep giving them work, eventually they'll have a breakout hit.
4 hours ago