After a bloody battle at the box office, Ashton Kutcher has retained his title of "World's Biggest Star For No Apparent Reason."
Kutcher, who has somehow parlayed a silly '70s sitcom, a "Candid Camera" rip-off and a marriage to Demi Moore into a bustling show business empire, went down for the count with his Steve Jobs biopic.
"Jobs" was deleted at the box office after millions of Apple customers and Kutcher's millions of Twitter followers refused to show up to fill movie theaters. Apparently, movie-goers weren't interested in watching a bad actor play a bad person (Hey, all I know about Jobs is what I learned in this movie).
Rumors of Kutcher's inclusion in this year's Oscar race were premature, but all is not lost for the man who not only replaced Charlie Sheen on "Two and a Half Men," but does a horrible job of it and gets paid $2 million a week. As a consolation, he won a coveted spot on our annual list of the summer movie season's biggest losers.
It's been an interesting summer for some pretty big names, and by "interesting," we mean "disheartening" and "disastrous" and "disappointing" and "disconcerting" and other words that begin with the letter "d."
Before I start, I want to acknowledge that every person appearing on this list is richer, more successful and better looking than me, so please don't write to tell me that I'm jealous. I may be jealous of them, but at least I'm not on this list of losers.
My only regret is that Adam Sandler does not appear on this list for his sequel "Grown Ups 2." You'll have to tune in next week to see if he does appear on the list of the summer movie season's biggest winners.
In no particular order:
1. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson _ Both these guys will survive "The Internship," but if they truly want to apologize for this well-publicized return of the guys from "Wedding Crashers," they'll send personal checks to reimburse the cost of movie tickets, parking, babysitters and popcorn.
2. Will Smith _ We don't get to use the words Will Smith and summer loser in the same sentence very often, but "After Earth" was a dismal failure. Still, the Fresh Prince will endure.
3. Johnny Depp _ One of my wonderful readers took me to task for mocking Johnny for his role of Tonto in "The Lone Ranger." It is her contention that people of my ilk are blaming him for the failure of the filmmakers to make an entertaining movie. I do blame the filmmakers, but I also think Johnny needs to receive recognition for his part in this silliness.
4. Ryan Reynolds _ I have pontificated upon this actor's deficiencies in a previous column so I won't belabor the point. Suffice to say that his film "R.I.P.D" did not do well. The initials must stand for: "Rest in Peace, Dude."
5. Channing Tatum _ "White House Down" is certainly not his fault. But he was the face and biceps up there on the posters so his reputation took a bit of a hit for a film that gave movie-goers a sense of deja vu. Several months earlier, a very similar movie called "Olympus Has Fallen" opened in theaters, and it had Morgan Freeman in it.
6. Guillermo del Toro _ The director of the brilliant "Pan's Labyrinth" was off his game in "Pacific Rim," an homage to the Godzilla movies he loved so much while growing up in Mexico. He spent a fortune on this movie, but he should have spent more on recognizable stars and a screenwriter.
7. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis _ Who among us could have resisted the money thrown at these guys for "The Hangover Part III?" At some point, however, people have to look at themselves in the mirror and wonder how they're going to give us back two hours of our lives. With great salaries comes great responsibility.
8. Denzel Washington _ Why does every comedian want to play Hamlet and every dramatic actor want to be funny in "2 Guns?" Denzel has a perfectly good dramatic career going, so why would he want to mess with his reputation by appearing in something so silly? Take your Oscars and laugh all the way to the bank, Mr. Washington.
9. Bruce Willis _ Let's be honest; Bruce doesn't care about being on this list. He doesn't care much about anything. He'll show up just about anywhere, even if it's an AARP action sequel called "Red 2." And speaking of aging action stars, it has been reported that Willis rejected an offer to be in the third "Expendables" movie because they wouldn't pay him $4 million for three days work.
10. Ashton Kutcher _ As I was watching his movie "Jobs," I kept expecting Ashton to jump out from behind the screen to tell me I was being punk'd.
Barry Koltnow: firstname.lastname@example.org
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