Determining how much money actors are being offered is always a slippery-slope topic because only a few people involved in the negotiations really know the numbers and because rumors are sometimes started by folks looking to capitalize on the supposed going rate. That being said, The Wrap is finding several instances of cut-rate offers for top-grade talent - among them Scarlett Johansson, Julia Roberts and Mickey Rourke.
As studios are rethinking their economic models, the A-list stars who appear in movies that miss are extremely vulnerable. Roberts joins Will Ferrell ("Land of the Lost," "Semi-Pro"), George Clooney ("Leatherheads," "The Good German") and Russell Crowe ("State of Play," "Body of Lies") are just a few examples. (See separate story on five actors who need to be careful.) "They're not 'must-haves,' '' said one high-level studio executive about these actors, though he declined to be identified. "They've all been in too many movies that didn't work."
The weekend was full of performers who may not be able to bank on record paydays anymore. Eddie Murphy's "Imagine That" was his second summer dud in a row, opening to only $5.6 million. Ferrell's "Land of the Lost" was a critical and commercial stinker and has grossed only $35 million. And even though it grossed in line with expectations at $25 million, "The Taking of Pelham 123" couldn't ride megastars Denzel Washington and John Tavolta to anything higher than 3rd place, behind two star-free holdovers in "The Hangover" and "Up."