Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hollywood's Most Bankable

Every year, Forbes does their list of Hollywood's most bankable stars. Will Smith is always on top. Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are never far behind. And bringing up the rear is the "movie star" that is Nicole Kidman. (Gotta hand it to Kevin Huvane. Kidman still makes a ton of money while putting out big-budget bombs like Australia, The Golden Compass and The Invasion.)

But behind every celeb and their sometimes Quixotic effort to turn an amusement park ride, comic book or literary trilogy-cum-Star Wars wannabe into a job-saving megahit (cough...Jeff Robinov...cough), is a staff of hard-working nobodies who make everything happen. These nobodies, also known as Production Assistants, get no credit and no notoriety even though they show up to work on time, never offer Christian Bale-style tantrums and routinely bust their asses for about $10 per hour.

I contend that these are truly the bankable stars and have taken it upon myself to honor them.

(Cue music)


Scott Markus
Even if you take out The Dark Knight, Scott's movies still average a cool $80 million. But he's not just a one-screen pony. Get him working on small screen projects and you'll see similar results with hits like Lost, Flight 29 Down (a.k.a. Lost Jr.) and Prison Break.

Total movies as PA -- 6
Worldwide Box Office -- $1.4 billion
Average Box Office -- $239 million


Peter Skorupskas
Like John Travolta, Skorupskas' hits are huge, misses are Battlefield Earth-esque. He's currently on an upswing having worked on Gran Torino, The Dark Knight and Transformers. On the downside, Skorupskas worked on Semi Pro (which didn't recover the production budget) and something called Oceans of Pearls. If this pattern holds true, All's Faire in Love should be huge and while Red & Blue Marbles should disappear quickly.

Total movies as PA -- 5
Worldwide Box Office -- $1.8 billion
Average Box Office -- $377 million



Jonathan Stow
Not having worked on a film with an original concept hasn't slowed Stow down at all. His PAing on two different Pirates of the Caribbean movies should earn him a lifetime pass to the Disney theme park of his choice.

Total movies as PA -- 4
Worldwide Box Office -- $3.2 billion
Average Box Office -- $800 million


Allison Meadows
In spite of the nuke-resistant refrigerator absurdity, Indiana Jones 4 made nearly $800 million worldwide -- thanks to the bankable PA Allison Meadows. Clearly Spielberg was familiar with her work on Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean and Beowulf. Look for more in 2009 as Meadows teams up with Vin Diesel on The Fast and The Furious sequel/remake and 17 Again starring teen beauty queen Zac Efron and that guy from Friends.

Total movies as PA -- 8
Worldwide Box Office -- $3.1 billion
Average Box Office -- $387 million


Veloz Gomez
The ultimate in bankable. Veloz makes Lamar Mundane look erratic. Veloz has worked as a PA on 28 movies -- including Die Hard, Batman, Spider-man, Superman and POTC. Heck, Gomez's films have a global box office take nearly equals Viacom's market cap and is greater than the GDP of The Bahamas. And don't forget stints on TV doc dramas ER and Chicago Hope.

Total movies as PA -- 28
Worldwide Box Office -- $8.3 billion
Average Box Office -- $300 million

[Note: The films and their averages are based on major box office releases. Indie films were not included because they don't make any money and they only end up in about 12 theaters.]

5 comments:

Scott Markus said...

Cheers & thanks for including me on the list - quite the surprising start to my day. It's unfair to not give a shout out to my more deserving PA brothers and sisters including Mikey Eberle, Stefan Rand & Andy Spellman (all of these guys are ADs now or are damn close)

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