It should come as no surprise that all big names carry a certain weight with them, especially in the movie industry. Actors gain credibility and a reputation based off their performances and the genres of movies they star in. Hence people like Matthew Mcconaughey, Ryan Gosling and Jennifer Lawrence each have big followings. This is because these specific fan audiences like what the actors are known for and their acting in whatever movie/TV show they're in. As a result, the hype of the recently released 'Godzilla' and the upcoming 'Guardians of the Galaxy', got me thinking about how much a studio and its marketing exploits actors' popularity and talent.
In 'Godzilla' the (really) big star had a rebooted movie named after himself, but this apex predator doesn't count in this case. The biggest human actor that starred in the movie was Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston. His work in the award-winning show was amazing and throughout all 5 seasons he made the character his own as he based it off the dramatic writing and other great actors like his partner Jessie Pinkman aka Aaron Paul.
Breaking bad helped make Cranston's light grow exponentially stronger on the Hollywood map. It's probably why he was cast in Godzilla and then Warner Bros thought it was important to capitalise on this fame and plaster his name on everything Godzilla related. *SPOILER* Cranston's character didn't even have that much screen time as he died very early on. He was probably one of my favourite characters in the movie, but his star power and talent were underutilised. Now this brings about the idea of money and how profiting is one of the fundamental aspects of a movie to a studio - it means they can make more movies which is always a good thing. In this case though, they just need to understand how to make the best of a high-profile actor besides from marketing (which they always seem to have down).
However, they might actually prove me wrong on this one. It's dark, the credits are rolling and afterwards the lights turn on as I'm leaving. Then in the hallway a guy from Warner Bros asked me if I could fill out a questionnaire. Sure, why not? I asked myself. I remember one distinct question being 'Who was your favourite character?' From that I gather that the studio wants to know if they should cast and hype another high-profile actor again for the eventual sequel if it was successful this time. What do you think?
'Guardians of the Galaxy' I believe is similarly using high-profile actors to its advantage. First of all I'd like to point out the obvious in that this adventure of a movie takes place in space and that there are aliens. These obviously have to be a mix between live-action and CG (computer generated) characters with the voices of real people. This means that the voice actors have to rely on the script and how they convey the lines to make it a good movie. No doubt it will be, but why hire 2 really big actors like Fast and Furious' Vin Diesel and Silver Linings Playbook's Bradley Cooper to voice (and for Diesel, motion capture) a talking tree and a racoon.
Answer, they want the audience following of an already long-living vehicular franchise and a good looking dude who acted alongside an Academy award winning actress in a multi-award winning movie. It doesn't matter if Diesel only says 3 words or that Cooper feels that it is better to do his own thing rather than stick to the original British accent associated with the source material character. The specific fan audiences that love these actors will go see just about anything they're in. This results in the studios acquiring additional audiences in comparison to the core targeted audiences already planning on going.
I'm not saying that movies like these aren't and won't be good since they promote well known actors, but it is a major marketing technique.
Are there any movies you've gone to see because you preferred to see the actor rather than watch the movie for its plot/concept?