Denzel Washington: a $16 million paycheck is beneath his dignity.
By Lee Pfeiffer
The New York Times has an insightful piece regarding the concern among Hollywood agents and studios about the lack of drawing power exhibited by top movie stars this year. Under-performers include Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Will Ferrell and Johnny Depp. The consensus is that these actors have not delivered audiences in numbers great enough to justify their paychecks. (The article cites Eddie Murphy among the non-performers, but apparently only Hollywood executives didn't get the message that Murphy hasn't been hot since Bill Clinton was in the White House). Consequently, studios are cutting back on paychecks - and actors aren't happy. Denzel Washington refused to take "only" $16 million for his next movie - despite the fact that his recent films have all performed softly. Reasons given for the falling star power is everything from distraction by other forms of entertainment to poor marketing. Here's another one: many new films are simply lousy - and in the current recession, it now seems to cost a king's ransom to have a night out at the movies. For more