Friday, July 13, 2007

Is Orlando Bloom going to be this generation's Harrison Ford?

by Ken Houghton

Bill Simmons:
Once upon a time, Harrison Ford pumped out monster hits for 15 solid years before everyone suddenly noticed, "Wait a second, Harrison Ford is unquestionably the biggest movie star of his generation!" From 1977 to 1992, Ford starred in three Star Wars movies, three Indiana Jones movies, Blade Runner, Working Girl, Witness, Presumed Innocent and Patriot Games ... but it wasn't until he carried The Fugitive that everyone realized he was more bankable than Stallone, Reynolds, Eastwood, Cruise, Costner, Schwarzenegger and every other competitor from that time.

Ladies and gentlemen, box office mojo currently lists Orlando Bloom as the 7th highest ranking star of all time in terms of his films's unadjusted U.S. gross receipts.*

He is, as best I can tell, third in box office average, behind Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe. (Rupert Grint has made one other film, which in itself dragged his average down by nearly $40MM.)

And it's not that Bloom's films have all been Big Winners. Ned Kelly appears to have been released in the United States for all of two weeks (17 days, officially). He has made three films (including his bit part in Wilde) that have grossed less than $2.5MM, and yet he's averaging over $200MM. (His mojo median currently is $303MM for the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean film, which is still playing).

The man could probably do art films for the rest of his life and still end up in the top four or five of all-time.

Just saying.

*boxofficemojo excludes Wilde and Black Hawk Down from their calculations for Bloom as "cameo or bit parts and not counted in totals and averages."

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I'm not sayin' he doesn't deserve to be a big star, but most almost half of his take comes from the LOTR trilogy, which, although he played one of the main characters, was big for reasons entirely independent from Orlando Bloom. So I'll withhold judgment as to whether he's the next Harrison Ford.

And I'll freely admit that I don't get the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
That dovetails into the point: Ford was a Franchise player (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jack Ryan) after films such as The Conversation. Whether he could act was left as an exercise, in the same manner as Roger Moore or Sean Connery. (ffolkes v. Zardoz for the Geek Contingent.)

PotC broke out because it was the first Disney franchise film in a long time that didn't look like a Disney Franchise film. (Think The Country Bears or The Haunted Mansion.)
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