10 Actors Desperately in Need of a Hit Film

Sure, they live in giant houses and wear diamond wristwatches and have people who are hired specifically to walk two paces in front of them spraying perfume at all times, but Hollywood actors are just like you and I – they need to work to live. 

Their cost of living is higher, but actors have mouths to feed and mortgages to pay, the difference being they can’t just work a few extra hours at the office – they’re only as employable as their movies are successful. Here are 10 actors who are one more flop away from the dole office…

Will Smith 

Okay, so the Smiths are not exactly going to be putting their mansion up for sale any time soon, but things have changed in the career of the man they used to call “Mr Box Office”. A bona fide, four-quadrant-slaying blockbuster juggernaut, Smith racked up eight consecutive $100 million #1 hits in his day.

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That must seem like a distant memory these days: soppy drama ‘Seven Pounds’ was the movie that ended the record-breaking run, and although ‘Men In Black 3’ was a success, ‘After Earth’ was nothing less than a calamity. 

Recent heist movie ‘Focus’ didn’t make nearly as much bank as Will’s conman character, meaning Smith’s forthcoming role as Deadshot in superhero adventure ‘Suicide Squad’ is starting to look like a make-or-break moment in his career. 

Maybe the man who turned down the lead role in ‘Django Unchained’ has lost his magic touch…

Tom Cruise

You’re only as hot as your last movie, and even though TomCruise has a history of setting the box office alight, his last movie ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ just didn’t entice enough punters into cinemas (so much so, it was renamed ‘Live, Die, Repeat’ for its DVD release). 

So now we’re in the oddsituation of questioning the pulling power of one of Hollywood’s biggest namesand faces – and if Tom Cruise can’t get bums on seats, what hope is there for the rest of us? 

Luckily for Cruise, he’s got a banker in the works – ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ should be just the trick for Tom’s bank manager. 

Otherwise? Mr Cruise, your big budget blockbusters will self-destruct in 5… 4… 3… 

Johnny Depp

Depp’s career has followed a truly bizarre trajectory. He started out as a heartthrob indie actor, breaking out with movies like ‘Cry Baby’ and ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?’. Then, after ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ set sail on an ocean of money, Depp began to single-handedly own the summer blockbuster (we still can’t quite believe how much money ‘Alice In Wonderland’ made – it’s quite obscene). 

Lately, however, Depp might consider picking up those indie scripts once more, because movies like uber-flop ‘The Lone Ranger’, cyber-trash ‘Transcendence’ and rash-inducing comedy ‘Mortdecai’ have turned Johnny into box office poison. 

He’s probably not worried: up next are a sequel to ‘Alice In Wonderland’ and the fifth ‘Pirates’ movies – that’s money in the bank right there.

Vince Vaughn

Ironically, the man whose catchphrase was “You’re so money, baby!” has found himself unable to separate moviegoers from their cash of late. 

Recent flop ‘Unfinished Business’ (which didn’t even make back half of its budget) was the latest in a string of misfires: ‘Delivery Man’ and ‘The Internship’ barely broke even, while ‘The Watch’ and ‘The Dilemma’ came and went without making much noise – that’s rare for someone as loud as Vaughn.  

Vince is taking the credible route back to success, with a role in season two of ‘True Detective’ – he’s hoping it’ll be a new dawn for Vince Vaughn.

Nicole Kidman

Here we have another formerly untouchable movie star that’s fallen on hard times. Oscar-winner Kidman will probably never struggle to find work, but she’s struggled to find an audience – her last hit was a mere bit-part in risible Adam Sandler comedy ‘Just Go With It’ in 2011. 

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Though she played the part of the villain well in the delightful ‘Paddington’, you’d hesitate to call it ‘a Nicole Kidman movie’, because as evidenced by the box office performance of both ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ and ‘The Railway Man’, they don’t really sell any more (maybe she should just stop working with Colin Firth). 

Last year’s festival flop ‘Grace Of Monaco’ was dead on arrival – we wouldn’t be surprised if Kidman was bothering Baz Luhrmann to write a ‘Moulin Rouge’ prequel or something.

Bruce Willis

When your cash cow is producing sour milk, it’s time to face facts – you are not the cinematic alchemist you used to be. 

Even with a 12A rating, ‘A Good Day To Die Hard’ failed to live up to expectations, leaving Willis staring down the barrel of a release slate with no bankers to rely on. ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ was successful but you’d credit that more to The Rock than you would The Willis (he’s barely in it anyway), while ‘Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For’ was a horrendous belly-flop. 

Bruce bears the air of a man who doesn’t give a damn whether or not you go to see his movies anyway, so it’s not like he’s bothered.

Eddie Murphy

The man with the Midas touch can’t find a hit for love nor money of late – although to be fair, he’s only released three movies in the last five years. 

The likes of ‘Meet Dave’ and ‘A Thousand Words’ were high concept comedies in search of jokes (and a captive audience), while ‘Tower Heist’ would have just broken even after the cost of prints and advertising. 

Murphy remains one of the most successful actors of all time (those ‘Shrek’ dollars go a long way), but even he must be feeling the heat – currently on the calendar is a fourth ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ movie (insert ‘shrug’ emoji) and ‘Triplets’, a sequel to ‘Twins’, which will be funny because Eddie Murphy is black and Arnie and Danny DeVito are white. 

We’re sure there will be other jokes too.

Adam Sandler

Like Murphy, Sandler is another unlikely box office titan; a title he achieved by bringing easily digestible lowbrow comedy to Middle America. 

When even abominations like ‘Grown Ups 2’ can make a quarter of a billion dollars worldwide, you know the bar is high, but Sandler has been ducking beneath it of late – ‘Blended’, his screen reunion with ‘Wedding Singer’ co-star Drew Barrymore, failed to scare up a score, while that serious movie we’ve all been urging him to make turned out to be the ghastly ‘Men, Women & Children’, which didn’t even make a million dollars in the US. 

Videogame comedy ‘Pixels’ (watch a trailer above) is an unknown quantity, but ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ will probably right Sandler’s sinking ship. When Kevin James is making more money than you, it’s time to raise your game.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

How can this be possible? Arnold Schwarzenegger is barely human – he’s a pillar of walking, talking screen presence, capable of blowing the roof off a cinema with a simple flex of his bicep! 

Then you remember it’s 2015, and that the days of ‘Terminator 2’ and ‘Total Recall’ were several decades ago. It’s been painful to watch young audiences systematically fail to appreciate Arnold’s awesomeness – ‘The Last Stand’ was kneecapped by a terrifyingly naff opening weekend, while ‘Escape Plan’ and ‘Sabotage’ barely registered. 

Schwarzenegger has turned to his touchstones to get him through this rough patch: a new ‘Conan’ movie and the aforementioned ‘Triplets’ are potentially interesting, but ‘Terminator Genisys’ is gambling that the people who steered clear of ‘Terminator Salvation’ will somehow be interested in more of the same robo-nonsense. If it fails… will he be back?

Julia Roberts

Yes, Julia Roberts – she of the million dollar smile and the hard-won ‘Erin Brockovitch’ Oscar. 

You have to go all the way back to 2010’s ‘Eat Pray Love’ for a movie that ended up in the black – in the last five years, she, and we, have suffered indignity in the form of ‘Larry Crowne’ (the smuggest movie ever made), ‘Mirror Mirror’ (not even the best Snow White movie of the year) and snoozefest ‘August: Osage County’, in which she spent the entire movie in Meryl Streep’s shadow. 

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At least there is credibility on the horizon: the English-language adaptation of Best Foreign Language Movie ‘The Secret In Their Eyes’, also co-starring fellow hit-seeker Nicole Kidman, promises to be a real Oscar-botherer.

Image Credits: Press Association