Posted: Fri., Jun. 13, 2008, 3:51pm PT
Long fascinating article about the salaries many stars were once accustomed to getting but not getting any longer.
Hollywood all grossed out
Studios trim superstars' lucrative deals
By MICHAEL FLEMING
This season, with each successful launch of a summer tentpole, whether it be “Iron Man” or “Kung Fu Panda,” comes a sigh of relief among the studios.
But it’s a mixed blessing for Hollywood’s top talent and the agents who represent them. Many of the hits this summer — and of recent years — have been driven not by stars but by superheroes, comic books and other concepts.
The diminished status for stars appears to be accelerating a trend that has been going on for some time: Stars with enough cachet to demand gross receipts on a movie are securing much less lucrative deals than in the past.
In deal-making parlance, it’s a shift to “cash break deals,” from the once-common practice of giving top talent as much as 20% of the first-dollar gross.
In other words, star actors — as well as big-name writers and directors — are being forced to wait until a movie recoups its costs, rather than enjoy a portion of the first dollar that a project takes in.
These types of deals have long been common in the specialty business, but now are being applied to pictures with much higher budgets.
“We are in a cycle where it is good to be the buyer, and unless you’ve got Will Smith or a handful of other stars in the project, every negotiation has become difficult,” says a top agent.
For the rest go here:
"A western for grown-ups written in a lean, hardboiled style." Publishers Weekly
That was the quote for the first of my Guild series. I'm happy to say that Dorechester Publishing is bringing them back starting in June of 2009. I'll keep you posted.