News Column

SINCE YOU ASKED [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)]

November 18, 2013

YellowBrix

"Honestly I hated it. ... it was like going to work every day in hell with Satan. Nah, just playing."

Mariah Carey, talking to Hot 97 radio about her time as a judge on Fox's "American Idol",Who's got 'bankability?',When it comes to Hollywood salaries, what you make can bear little resemblance to what you're worth.

Such are the findings of a study released today on how much money the industry's biggest names bring to their movies.

A-list stars and directors bring home paychecks that dwarf the measurable dollars they generate for their projects, suggests the "Bankability Index," a study of the financial impact of the film industry by data-crunching firm the-numbers.com.

The three-year study examined box-office and video revenue of projects involving more than 65,000 employees over their careers, from directors and actors to sound designers and set decorators. The figures were adjusted for inflation and weighted based on studio billing, with top stars and directors taking the largest share.

Director Steven Spielberg tops the list, generating $27.4 million in box-office revenue and video rentals a year, or $13.7 million per movie, the study finds. Actor Samuel L. Jackson is second with $24.4 million ($6.2 million per movie), followed by Johnny Depp at $24.3 million ($10.5 million).

Compare that with Forbes magazine's annual list of the industry's highest-paid actors. Robert Downey Jr. tops them all at an estimated $75 million for 2013. Yet, the Bankability Index lists him as only Hollywood's ninth-biggest revenue draw, generating $20.6 million a year for his movies. The next highest-paid actors on Forbes' list aren't even on the index's top 10: Channing Tatum is second at $60 million, followed by Hugh Jackman ($55 million), Mark Wahlberg ($52 million) and Dwayne Johnson ($46 million).

The study does not address the disparity between salary and worth. Bruce Nash of the-numbers.com says the index examines Hollywood as though it were a single sales firm, with the top salesman, Steven, "driving the bottom line more than anyone else, so he would be the top employee.

"We understand that big names command huge salaries and drive business. We wanted to look at everybody in the industry as if it were one giant, corporate body."

Unsung employees abound, the study finds. Composer Hans Zimmer ("Man of Steel") is No. 6 on the index, worth $22.6 million a year.

"What became clear," Nash says, "was how important the other players are. You can see how important it is to get these prolific talents who fly under the radar."

-- USA Today,What is that cute actor John Krasinski doing now? -- B.P.

He's shooting an as-yet-untitled romantic comedy with Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone and Bradley Cooper, and he's voicing a role in the animated version of the Kahlil Gibran classic "The Prophet," alongside Salma Hayek and Liam Neeson.

What is that pretty actress Minka Kelly doing now? And will she ever get back together with the New York Yankees' Derek Jeter? -- S.D.

Minka co-stars in Fox's new futuristic drama "Almost Human" and stars in the upcoming film drama "The World Made Straight." She and the Yankees' captain seem to have gone their separate romantic ways after two stints together. Anything can happen, but there's no evidence that a third stint is in the offing.

Dustin Hoffman is my favorite actor. Is he making any new movies? -- G.S.

He co-stars with Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. in the comedy "Chef," due out in May, and is voicing a role in "Kung Fu Panda 3." Also, he is set to shoot the TV movie "Esio Trot," with Judi Dench, and star in "The Boychoir," playing a choirmaster who helps a troubled youth.

-- Robin Adams Sloan, King Features Syndicate,Terrence is not happy

Hollywood star Terrence Howard is supposed to be promoting his new movie, but instead he bashed former friend and co-star Robert Downey, Jr., accusing the actor of dumping him from the massively lucrative "Iron Man" trilogy.

Terrence made the accusation during an interview with Andy Cohen on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live." A viewer called in to ask, "Why didn't you come back to 'Iron Man'? I liked you so much in a uniform."

Frowning, Terrence replied, "Would you like to really know? It turns out in order for -- this is going to get me in a lot of trouble -- it turns out that the person that I helped become Iron Man ... when it was time to re-up for the second one, took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out." He was referring to Robert's salary for the superhero trilogy, which earned Robert a reported $50 million for the last film alone.

Terrence was on the show to tout "The Best Man Holiday," his upcoming film with actress Nia Long.

Terrence was one of the highest-paid cast members in the 2008 original "Iron Man," playing U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes. He was cut from the two sequels.

"They came to me with the second and said, "Look, we will pay you one-eighth of what we contractually had for you, because we think the second one will be successful with or without you. "I called 'my friend' that I helped get the first job, and he didn't call me back for three months,'" he said.

Asked how things are now, with Robert, Terrence replied: "Oh, I love him, God's going to bless him," he said sinisterly, causing a gasp from the audience.

-- New York Daily News,Demi comes clean

Demi Lovato is working hard to stay clean after a stint in rehab in 2011.

The 21-year-old singer overcame a "deep and dark" period battling substance abuse and an eating disorder while she was still considered a child star appearing on Disney shows, reports Us Weekly via Entertainment Weekly's print issue out Nov. 15.

"When I was in treatment, I honestly thought my career was over," she said of her time spent in rehab from Oct. 2010 to Jan. 2011. "But when I came out of treatment, I had more supportive fans than ever."

She detailed her journey to recovery in "Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year," a book of daily affirmations set to release Nov. 19. But she admitted to leaving out the in-depth details for fear of being too honest.

Now, the "Heart Attack" singer has signed on to pen a tell-all memoir and said she intends to get down and dirty on everything she went through, although it's still a struggle for her to reveal all her truths.

"I'm battling with internal thoughts on how honest I should be," she said.

"Yes, I've been very honest, but if people really know how dark and deep my struggles got ... they'd be really shocked."

Still, Lovato said her uncensored honesty is important to other young people aiming at a career in entertainment.

"I ended up going through some stuff," she said. "I realized I'm never going to escape the fact that I'm in the public eye, so I might as well do the best I can."

-- NYDN

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