Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
June 30, 2009
People apparently like squirrely.
Kim Hollis: Tom Cruise has never had a $300 million hit. Will Smith has had one - Independence Day. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will be Shia LaBeouf's third $300 million film, as well as his fourth consecutive $100 million plus blockbuster. Is this a fluke or is he as big a star as his box office would reflect?
Daron Aldridge: I wouldn't label it a fluke as much as being Steven Spielberg's benefactor. Spielberg may officially be the godfather of Drew Barrymore but as of lately he is clearly the Magwitch to LaBeouf's Pip (too literary??). All of those four $100 million films had Spielberg's fingerprints on them. So, to me, it is misleading to label him "that" big of a star but the performances of Eagle Eye and Disturbia do point to the more realistic gauge of his appeal at the box office in certain movies. There should be no mistaking the fact that the real stars of his big hits were the robots and the old man (i.e. Harrison Ford).
Josh Spiegel: It's absolutely a fluke. Look at Eagle Eye, a movie that barely crossed the $100 million mark. Technically, a blockbuster, but the movie was definitely not well-regarded, it had big special effects, a high concept, similar style to other LaBeouf movies, but it's not a huge hit. His three (well, soon to be three) $300 million movies are franchises; one of them, last year's fourth Indiana Jones movie, would've been successful with or without him, and more people are intrigued by Megan Fox in Transformers than by LaBeouf. I still like the guy, but he's kind of a movie star by default.
David Mumpower: Josh, isn't that a great definition of drawing power right there? Isn't it when a big enough can make people go see a movie they would otherwise ignore? I'm of the opinion that it was the trailer that sold Eagle Eye, but I absolutely believe Shia's presence sold tickets, particularly coming on the heels of all of his negative (but helpful for branding purposes) press.
Scott Lumley: He's absolutely nothing special. He's got a likable everyman quality, decent looks coupled with a self deprecating sense of humor and he looks like he's perpetually 20. There are at least a hundred other actors out there that fill that same slot. Why he's become the chosen one for these sort of films is beyond me, and I really don't have any suggestions as to why he's had these successes other than someone has to reap those rewards.
Then again, being in the right place at the right time tends to be more of a skill than most people assume. So it's entirely possible that LaBeouf's acting skills are extremely subordinate to his networking skills. And I've seen Disturbia, so if that statement is true either he or his agent is a social god.
Tim Briody: He's a box office star in the same way Orlando Bloom is. Right place, right time.