Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

May 27, 2009

The third trophy is the cuddliest.

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He's done with us. Professionally.

Kim Hollis: How big a setback is the performance of Terminator Salvation to Christian Bale's career as an A-list actor?

David Mumpower: He just absorbed a deathblow. Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but what he has just become is the latest Batman to fail completely in other mainstream roles. Michael Keaton struggled at the box office from the moment he put on the cape all the way up until the release of White Noise. Val Kilmer has become the master of the sub-$10 million earner (unfortunate since so many of his post-Batman films are exceptional) and now Bale has just returned a worst case scenario result with Terminator 4. Clooney, whose Batman movie bombed, is the only one to have post-cowl success. I expect that everyone involved with Public Enemies got a chill when Friday box office numbers came in. The hope/expectation is that Depp+Bale is a much stronger selling point, but Bale wouldn't be selling anything on his own any time soon. The interesting question is whether this winds up costing him any money when the next Batman rolls around. He had earned a significant raise. I wonder if he just gave a lot of it back. He needs the costume more than the costume needs him.

Tim Briody: Ask the majority of people who Christian Bale is, and they probably would need a couple minutes to figure it out if they get it at all. He's freaking Batman, The Dark Knight made $500 million and most people don't care enough to go see him in something else.

Pete Kilmer: Bale has become the guy that, while on the A List, really needs another A Lister for a huge movie. But he still has plenty of small movie leading man cred. He'll be fine.


Scott Lumley: I think we need to acknowledge that Bale was the third most important person involved in the Dark Knight. It's Nolan's world, accompanied by an insane Oscar level performance from Heath Ledger.... and Christian Bale as Batman. So while I don't think his career just took a Deathblow, it might have just received an overdue market correction.

That's good for us, though, because I think somebody just got a lot more eager to do a Dark Knight sequel. Hey Nolan! How about Paul Giamatti as the Penguin? Clive Owen as Deadshot? Maybe Kat Dennings as Catwoman?

Max Braden: He just doesn't come across as a nice guy or even a real badass you want to cheer for. The reverse hasn't made Hugh Jackman into King Midas, but if you're going to rasp and grumble you have to give something more to the audience. Even when Russell Crowe was seen as a jerk I think you still got the impression that he could impress. That said, I'll still watch everything Bale is in.

Brandon Scott: It depends on the context of the question. If you are asking whether it means he is not as big a star or as big a lead as he thought he was or rather Hollywood thought he was, then it's a setback. But it's not all-encompassing damage. Bale has always been an indie type of guy, and I don't know that he particularly cares about being a star in the public eye (he clearly hasn't handled it too well so far). So, the result might mean that he is not at the top of the A list of film stars; instead he is like just about every other actor on earth - he needs to be in the right film/vehicle to pull in a huge audience. I would still say he is in a lower tier of stars but not on the A+ list where we have generally put names like Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Will SMith, etc. There is nothing wrong with where he is, other than his general attitude towards having to deal with being where he is.

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