Which Movie Star Can You Bank on These Days?

Today in post-Christmas showbusiness news: Natalie Portman tops a dubious list of big-money actors, Ben Affleck and Kevin Smith almost re-made Fletch, and Ryan Gosling teams up with Bradley Cooper.

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The money-obsessed goblins over at Forbes have gone and compiled their annual "most bankable actors" list, and Natalie Portman comes riding in high — right at the top, in fact. Buoyed mostly by Black Swan's amazing box office performance in 2010 — the $13 million movie grossed almost $350 million world wide — it was determined that Portman returns $42 for every $1 that she is paid. Next is Twilight chief brooder Kristen Stewart, who returns about 40 bucks for every smackeroo she's given. After that comes Shia LaBeouf, who ought to fall from that spot soon enough, now that he's not doing the Transformers movies anymore. And really that's the thing about this list. People were going to see Twilight and Transformers anyway. How much did the actors really matter? Certainly Stewart is more of a box office factor for Twilight (and Snow White and the Huntsman) than LaBeouf was for Transformers, but they still fall under the same general category of actors who lucked into films instead of the other way around. After LaBeouf comes an obvious parade of young folks: Robert Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe, the ever-fading Taylor Lautner. Then, inexplicably, is Bradley Cooper, who I don't associate with being in that many hits. I guess The Hangover really does cover a lot. Anyway, the list is sorta janky, and doesn't really represent bankable movie stars, in my opinion. It's more a list of sort of bland actors who (Portman and Radcliffe excepted, obviously) who wound up in hit movies. Ah, well. [Forbes]

Not having anything better to do, Oxygen has ordered a new reality show called Babies' Mamas, which is about "the complicated lives of one man, his children’s mamas, and their army of children." It's from the two people who made The Hills. So this ought to be a grand excitement, don't you think?? I'm so glad we're still using the term "Baby Mama" and "Baby Daddy" and all that stuff. Not outdated or awful at all. [Deadline]

Here's a thrilling account of how Kevin Smith didn't end up making Fletch with Ben Affleck. What's thrilling is not all the Hollywood ins and outs. What's thrilling is the reminder that, thank god, Kevin Smith didn't end up making Fletch with Ben Affleck. [Huffington Post]

And here's a trailer for The Place Beyond the Pines, a new thriller/drama starring Ryan Gosling. In this movie he plays the same character he's been playing in every other movie for the last few years. Apparently he's more of a supporting character though, with Bradley Cooper actually in the lead. Can't tell that from this preview, though, which should be called Drive in the Country.

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