Jennifer Aniston: a Movie Star No More?

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"The Switch," a new movie in which Jennifer Aniston is impregnated by Jason Bateman and a turkey baster, grossed an abysmal $8.3 million this weekend, good enough for 8th place at the weekend box office, behind the likes of "Lottery Ticket" and "Nanny McPhee Returns." Is this officially the end of Jennifer Aniston's run as a major movie star? Or was she even one to begin with? The critics are turning against her.

  • Marketing Genius's Bill Simmons was the first to put Aniston's career under the microscope in his column last Friday. Noting that only two of Aniston's last eleven releases have been solid performers at the box office, Simmons points to the "Angelina/Brad/Jennifer love triangle, which is like Brett Favre's comeback/retirement/comeback routine multiplied by 10, but has been cruising along for twice as long" as the crucial element to Aniston's success. She may never have opened a picture on her own, but by staying in the tabloids she guarantees "built-in publicity buzz for every crappy movie she promotes." Personal strife, according to Simmons, is Aniston's bread-and-butter. Without it, she would have already faded to the the "B- and C-list obscurity" of her former "Friends" co-stars.

  • A Mystery For The Ages Patrick Goldstein of The Los Angeles Times isn't sure how Aniston's movie career can be considered over when she never had one in the first place. "When it comes to enduring mysteries," observes Goldstein, "it's hard to come up with something more mystifying than how Jennifer Aniston became a movie star...She's made an almost-unbroken string of forgettable movies that have rarely made a lot of money."

  • Critic-Proof At Hollywood Elsewhere, Jeff Wells calls Simmons' rundown of Aniston's woes "the best piece of analysis I've read about any actor's career in a long time." It was even more welcome, Wells suggests, since those inside the industry are plagued by Aniston-fatigue. "I could argue that the failure of 'The Switch' to make more than $8.3 million at 2010 location ($4125 per screen average) betokens or foretells the gradual collapsing of the Jennifer Aniston brand," writes Wells, "or I could just let it go. I'm glad that Bill Simmons didn't."

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