10 Beloved Television Actors Who Couldn't Translate That Success Onto the Big Screen
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10 Beloved Television Actors Who Couldn't Translate That Success Onto the Big Screen

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | March 25, 2013 | Comments ()


The box office this weekend saw one huge hit (The Croods opened with $45 million, and another $62 million overseas, and after watching it with a five year old, I think it deserves every goddamn penny), one surprise hit (Gerard Butler's generic seeming Olympus Has Fallen scored a whopping $30 million), and one flop. Admission, starring two of the most well liked celebrities on the planet, in Paul Rudd and Tina Fey, opened at number 5 with a meager $6.4 million, barely edging Harmony Korrine's Spring Breakers ($5 million) despite being on over 1,000 screens more than Admission. Likable stars don't mean a lot, it seems, when it comes to a feature film's success, and that's doubly so for television stars. Tina Fey had been lucky up until now, starring in a string of solid performers (Mean Girls, Baby Mama and Date Night), but that luck finally ran out.

It is not unusual, however, for a well-liked television star to embark on a feature film career and fail. That television star's likability, in fact, seems almost irrelevant. It's almost like a blogger -- who may get millions of page views per day -- that goes out and tries to write a book. Typically, those page views just don't translate into book sales.

Here are ten examples of well liked television stars failing to translate that likability into box-office coin.

Kristen Bell -- She did well as the ex-girlfriend in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but the beloved "Veronica Mars" star has not done well in leading romantic comedy roles, from Hit and Run ($13 million) to You Again ($25 million), to When in Rome ($25 million). She's back on TV where she belongs, and it remains to be seen whether that beloved television show will do well at the box office.

Andy Samberg -- Well liked on "Saturday Night Live," mostly because of his hugely popular Digital Shorts, Samberg could not translate that into a big screen career, starting with Hot Rod ($13 million) and ending with Celeste and Jesse ($3 million), with Adam Sandler's biggest flop in years (That's My Boy, $36 million) in between. It's no wonder Samberg is headed back to television this fall.

tumblr_m1iezhYGrW1qa5ff2o1_500.pngAdam Scott -- Maybe it's unfair to include Scott on this list given how few lead credits he has to his name, but considering how loved he is on "Parks and Recreation," he should've had more chances than Friend with Kids ($7 million), Bachelorette ($447,000), Lovely, Still ($127,000) and the still unreleased See Girl Run, all of which featured Scott in leading man roles.

John Krasinski -- It looked like Krasinski would be "The Office's" break-out star (instead of Steve Carell), but thanks to a mixture of bad choices and television audiences refusing to follow him to the big screen, Krasinski's feature film career has stalled: License to Wed ($43 million), Leatherheads ($31 million), Away We Go ($9 million), Brief Interviews with Hideous Men ($33,000), Something Borrowed ($39 million), Nobody Walks ($25,000), Promised Land ($7 million) and Big Miracle ($20 million) all underperformed.

Zach Braff -- The "Scrubs" star looked well on his way with his directing debut Garden State ($26 million), but his leading man efforts faltered from there: The Last Kiss ($11 million), The Ex ($3 million), and The Hight Cost of Living, which went straight to DVD.


Alexis Bledel -- So beloved for her years' long turn as Rory Gilmore in "Gilmore Girls," Bledel crashed and burned on the big screen with Post Grad ($6 million) and The Good Guy ($100,000), which is why -- after an arc on "Mad Men," Bledel is heading back to television with a pilot for Fox opposite Jason Ritter.

Bill Cosby -- One of the most beloved television actors of all time, Cosby could not convince anyone to see his forays into film. Leonard Part 6 ($6 million) is one of the biggest busts of all time, and Ghost Dad ($24 million) didn't fare much better.

Ricky Gervais -- I don't know that Gervais is someone we "like," but we do love his television shows, from "The Office" to "Extras" (although, "Life's Too Short" was kind of crap), and yet, as a lead film actor, Gervais has not done well: Ghost Town ($13 million) and The Invention of Lying ($18 million) failed to break $20 million, and his stab at directing and starring in Cemetery Junction didn't even cause a blip stateside.

Matthew Perry -- The most loved actor from friends, Matthew Perry tried and failed to launch a film career with such duds as Fools Rush In ($29 million), Almost Heroes ($6 million), Serving Sarah ($16 million), and Three to Tango ($10 million). He did land decent numbers with 17 Again ($64 million), but most of that can be attributed to Zac Efron at the height of his popularity.

Timothy Olyphant -- Beloved in "Deadwood," Olyphant has mostly kept himself to television since "Justified," which is smart considering how badly his films underperformed: I Am Number Four ($55 million), Hitman ($39 million), The Perfect Getaway ($15 million), Catch and Release ($15 million), High Life (unreleased) and The Crazies ($39 million) never managed to turn Olyphant into a film star. That's been our good fortune.



Elizabeth Banks -- Banks is a prolific movie actor, but she's most beloved on television (where she belongs), from "30 Rock" to "Scrubs" to "Modern Family," but when she's asked to help carry a movie as one of the leads, no one turns out for her. See What to Expect When You're Expecting ($41 million), Man on a Ledge ($18 million), The Details ($63,000), Idiot Brother ($24 million) and People Like Us ($12 million). In fact, she and Paul Rudd should star in their own sitcom. They'd be perfect on television, where audiences will turn out for an attractive, likable face.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Beloved

    How many times can this article use the word "beloved"? Sheesh.

  • Steve Jones

    With Mathew Perry you totally leave out The Whole Nine Yards which was a decent hit.

  • Lilian

    I think Dan Stevens might very well end up on this list, after dropping out of Downton Abbey.

  • Bill Trepkowski

    Don't forget, Timothy Olyphant was also in "Rock Star" and "The Girl Next Door," which he was great in, despite the numbers.

  • Iam_Spartacus

    Probably the most successful actor to transfer from small to big screen AND vice versa is James Garner. For decades he's gone back and forth between the two mediums with huge success. Starting with Maverick, then going to do The Great Escape, Duel at Diablo among other films. Then hits it big on TV again with The Rockford Files, then it's back to the big screen with an Oscar nomination for Murphy's Romance.
    I believe he's certainly doing something right!

  • Kballs

    She isn't popular enough to make this list, but I think the same thing will happen to Alison Brie. She was very good in Community (until the show shit in it's own mouth this season) but hasn't shown me anything else. She's probably the 36th best thespian on Mad Men in a role that begs for more. Her cleavage haunts my dreams and I wish her nothing but the best . . . but no. It ain't gonna happen.

  • fracas

    Leatherheads is an excellent and underrated movie. I don't care if it didn't make much money. People don't know what's good. "Give him the crusty bob." That never gets old.

  • yemayah

    I am uncomfortable with the title of this piece and this statement: "It is not unusual, however, for a well-liked television star to embark on a feature film career and fail.." The implication, even if not intended, is that the TV actor primarily at fault for not translating a film project into a box office hit, hence career success. Likeability, as the article does correctly state, may be irrelevant.

    In my opinion, the primary engines for that translation not happening is two-pronged: (1) a popular/gifted/charismatic actor is rarely offered a career-changing role: a great script is not created for said actor or the actor is only offered after everyone else higher on the list passes because the script is less than desirable. (2) No actor, no matter how popular or gifted, can bring an audience for a film the public does not want to see, if the film only appeals to a niche audience, or if it is just plain bad. The lack of translation is inherent to the film project itself, specifically with the script and/or the translation of a good script into a less than optimal film due to other factors both objective and abstract.

    I do not and have never accepted the old-timey, block-headed and patently illogical excuse from Hollywood studio types that the public will not accept so-and-so in a role different from the role, series or franchise in which the actor first made an impression. Obviously, there have been many cases of casting misfires due to over-hyping of a star and/or plain garden variety miscasting of not only the principle but also the supporting cast.

    Does anyone recall the fiasco of Far and Away (Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise), a miscast, but mostly a badly written, bloated and clumsily executed movie? Tom Cruise & miscast in Interview with a Vampire movie. (Disclosure: I despise Tom Cruise, and while he does have skills as seen in early works, I think the Mission Impossible franchise needs a fresh face). Want to see an appalling mega-flop: One Day, starring Anne Hathaway. You will want to burn your eyes out. I borrowed it from the library last week and I want my money back..oh..I borrowed it. Well I want that time back.

    Did the studios really entertain the notion that Taylor Kitsch could elevate those recent two big-budget bombs (bad scripts and direction) into box-office gold, and will he be punished/ghetto-ized by never being offered a role that allows him to show his acting chops and be considered for awards? This past weekend rather enjoyed the clunky Saturday-night-popcorn movie Olympus Has Fallen, but I kept wishing for Jeremy Renner instead of Gerard Butler, whom I find to be blah and uncharismatic.

    Other thoughts: Individual charisma and gifts with that certain spark that comes from the chemistry of all around good casting in the right film can alter a career. It is not logical to compare any male actor to Pitts and Cruise or infer that P & C are the standard. There is also the fact that some of the acting, movies and series on cable TV in recent years have greatly overshadowed what appears on the big screen. I don't think people anymore buy into the bias that TV is somehow inferior to movies. The day or ghettoization of TV actors has passed. Heck, yes, I want to see Timothy Olyphant's face on the big screen and I want him to have the opportunity in his lifetime to be considered for an Academy Award. Ditto for Walton Goggins, whom I believe is one of the finest American actors to come along in a loooong time. Who will write a great script for him?

    As actors age, male and female alike, the chances of getting a great script and/or a start in a franchise are greatly diminished. Finally, even the most gifted and charismatic of TV stars can make bad film choices, deliberately (Bill Cosby). TV actors and actresses who want to transition into film also have to earn a living. But it is more likely some are only being offered B-list projects because Hollywood wants to keep shoving Matthew McC, Tom C, Scarlett J, Sandra B (remember her?) and others down our throats, or because #1 and #2 choice passed on it. No one can predict the future. There is always a chance for success, if that is what is desired; ask Ben Affleck (recall Gigli, Daredevil). Sometimes an actor has to make his/her own success.

  • Resi

    Alexis Bledel can't act. She worked in Gilmore Girls because Ms Graham empowered her and had a nice chemistry with her. Alas, without her she miserably failed. Her being in Mad Men was awful to watch. Hell, the girl that plays the daughter is ten times better than her. I do like the woman though, she must be a very nice person.

  • The Kitastrophe

    Amen to this. She's not very good. Watching her in Sin City is painful.

  • Zach Braff was always the most annoying and least likable part of 'Scrubs' and anything that results in me seeing less of him is a good thing. Also, I think the lack of success for 'The Invention of Lying' had less to do with any inability of Gervais to translate his small screen ability into big screen ability and more to do with it basically being 'Smug Atheist: The Movie.'

  • Devin McMusters

    Thou shalt not speak harshly of any aspect of "Scrubs".

  • poopnado

    Sarah Michelle Gellar.

  • dizzylucy

    I don't know if it's so much people not showing up to see TV stars, as people not wanting to shell out $10+ for a crappy movie, which many of those are. There's not a lot of hidden gems that people missed out on because the lead actor didn't pull them in - with a few exceptions, most of those movies deserved to tank.

    I am amazed that Olyphant never really had a huge breakout film role though, because...damn.

  • Captain D

    With the exceptions of Cosby, Gervais, and perhaps Olyphant I don't think too many people began watching the (successful) shows due to the presence of these breakout stars. Some of those figures surprised me though. After all the marketing on TV for the Matt Damon / John Krasinski movie it only pulled in $7M?

    I also wanted to point out that Adam Scott and Kristen Bell were fantastic together. Maybe there could be a Party Down movie after Veronica Mars gets done?

  • toblerone

    All these people have failed (Perry, Bledel, Sandberg are not really surprising) and yet Katherine Heigel and Ashton Kutcher have had successful movie careers...

    *Where's Taylor Kitsch?

  • Guest

    Side note: John Krasinski won everything (Box Office success be damned) because he gets to go home to this:

  • Guest


  • Guest

    Argh... Stupid Disqus.

  • Jezzer

    I liked "Gilmore Girls" too, but why on earth would you expect anyone to translate a role on a show with mediocre numbers into box office success? The most successful actress from GG is Melissa McCarthy, and that success has absolutely zero to do with GG.

  • ,

    Maybe it's something along these lines:

    I like him/her plenty when he/she is coming through the box in my comfy living room for free (well, not for free, but you get the picture), but I'll be damned if I'll haul out to the theater and pay $11 and put up with other people to see him/her. I don't like him/her THAT much.

    The question then becomes, why do some actors entice people to cross that line and others don't? A likability factor or something?

    Anyway, just to pick on Tiny Fey a little, she seems to do fine when she's part of a movie ensemble, when she's not entirely the focus ("Mean Girls"), but I've tried to watch "30 Rock" many times to see what's so funny and I seldom make it through an episode because I never laugh. So why would I see a movie starring Tina Fey?

  • jennp421

    A lot of these actors are from kind of niche television - while we may love Adam Scott and Kristen Bell, how many people really know who they are? After all, while their shows are amazing, they don't necessarily have same name recognition outside of certain circles. Naturally, that isn't the case with Matthew Perry and Bill Cosby, but many of these "beloved TV actors" weren't exactly household names.

  • Mrs. Julien

    who may get millions of page views per day

    Seriously? "Millions"?!

    [nervous waving]

  • chanohack

    Alexis Bledel's can't be romantic with Jason Ritter, he used to sleep with Rory's mom! Ewwwwwwww.

  • koko temur

    Bells career always depressed the crap out of me. What kind a world do we live in if no one can write well for her?! The woman is a godess.

  • Professor Sara

    I'd add Sarah Michelle Gellar to the list, but not only have her movies not taken off, but we don't seem to love her in a non-Buffy television role either. Poor Smidge.

  • BWeaves

    I guess you don't watch Ringer. OK, well, neither do I.

  • Professor Sara


  • Robert

    I'd say the bigger issue with including Adam Scott on the list is that most of those films are micro budget indies that didn't open wide even by limited release standards. Bachelorette topped out at a whopping 60 screens and was available VOD in its first week of release.

    In fact, a lot of these films are indie pictures with name actors that rarely turn a profit in theaters. Tina Fey and Bill Cosby are the exceptions in the post with big budget films that had a marketing budget beyond sending a poster to the movie theater and hoping someone shows up.

  • Frank

    I would watch a sitcom with Rudd and Banks. #Somebodygetonthat

  • Nadine

    Perfect Getaway is a criminally, criminally underrated flick. I can watch it five times a week and never be sick or bored of it.

  • Agreed! Steve Zahn is also brilliant in it -- I never understod why he got cast in everything until I watched this one.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    You and me, dollface. So much shirtless glory... and a pretty decent, suspenseful plot as well.

  • Nadine

    Bare naked OlyphantASS too.

  • What is wrong with just being a television actor? Why do they all think they need to be big movie stars when they get a little bit of success on the small screen? I like watching movies but, these days, I much prefer television. Some of the most interesting stories and ideas are on tv right now and certainly the best roles for women are on the small screen.

  • Archie Leach

    "What is wrong with just being a television actor?". Couple of reasons.

    Though we KNOW - that is in North America - that what's going on in
    television IS (mainly) superior to what's being produced for the big
    screen...... BUT television hasn't shaken off the attitude of the
    entertainment industry that "television is inferior/the poor stepchild
    to movies"..... AND MORE IMPORTANTLY....

    2) The cinema/movies
    will/can make an actor an international superstar. Thus why a working
    actor strives to be a player in "the industry"....this doesn't need to
    be explained.

  • dizzylucy

    I fully agree that the characters and stories on TV right now are much more interesting.
    But I'd imagine as an actor, there's still just something about starring in a film (not to mention probably getting paid more for less time), and working on a different character than the one you play for months or years.

  • "Admission, starring two of the most well liked celebrities on the planet,"

    On the Internet, maybe.

  • ,

    What I was thinking. More specifically, perhaps, in the insular little world of Pajiba.

  • Mrs. Julien

    5 points to Gryffindor!

  • I'mNotTheGreatest

    Adam Scott and Elizabeth Banks don't belong on the list. Scott is barely in movies adn Banks is not a TV actress. Tina Fey and Steve Carrell do, yes they have had hits but recently a lot of failures

  • e jerry powell

    One last thing:

    Yeah, Ghost Dad bit it. But I'm willing to bet that it got greenlit because it was a reunion of sorts (after thirteen years, anyway) between Cosby and Sidney Poitier, who had directed the three films that they co-starred in back in the day; I guess the earlier collaborations had been successful enough to justify the risk.

  • e jerry powell

    It should be noted (mostly to white people) that Bill Cosby did have an acting career before The Cosby Show. There was quite a bit of film work as Sidney Poitier's sidekick during the 1970s (Uptown Saturday Night, A Piece of the Action, Let's Do It Again), a little fun with Racquel Welch (Mother, Jugs & Speed), and a Neil Simon Suite (the film version of California Suite opposite Richard Pryor, no less) on top of all the live-action and animated TV work he had been doing consistently since I Spy. It would probably serve us well to remember that Bill Cosby was born in 1937 and his first television appearance was in 1965. His first film appearance (for which he did not receive screen credit) was Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, a project featuring his I Spy co-star Robert Culp and a pre-M*A*S*H Elliott Gould. Maybe not $100 million blockbusters (since most of those films pre-date JAWS, the first "blockbuster" in film history), but they could certainly be considered fairly successful on what would have to be considered modest budgets (especially by today's standards; Uptown Saturday Night is estimated to have cost $3 million).

    There seems to be a root assumption here that ultimate success as an actor is a long-term sustainable career in feature films, and that somehow TV stars who do not have a successful transition to film are, by some arbitrary standard, viewed as failures. I certainly don't believe that myself, and given the amount of money that Bill Cosby has made since before I was born, he probably doesn't mind not being a megastar in film very much. It's such a warped view of things, I find. Hell, Susan Lucci (Josh Duhamel's co-star for a time) has virtually no feature film exposure, but she has arguably a better career (to say nothing of higher brand recognition) than many actors who came from soaps after she did (in 1970).

    Seriously, is being a movie star the be-all and end-all of acting work? Is stage to TV to film supposed to be the natural progression of things? If so, given the odds, most acting students need to quit right now and find some other line of work.

  • Three_nineteen

    Thanks for looking up all that stuff so I didn't have to. Not to mention his phenomenal stand-up career which you would think would be enough for anyone to call him amazingly successful.

  • e jerry powell

    I'm not sure if it's a cultural/environmental nurturing thing or not, but except for I Spy, which was well and truly off the air by the time I was old enough to be truly aware of television programming, I've seen about 80% of everything Bill Cosby has done, including the stuff that would be considered blaxploitation projects, so I didn't look a lot of it up. I'm kind of geeky about things like that the same way some guys are geeky about sports stats.

  • Three_nineteen

    Well, if you get the Aspire Channel, you can watch both "I Spy" and "The Bill Cosby Show", his first sitcom.

  • e jerry powell

    Alas, in the Texas backwaters...

    I think DVD will have to suffice, if that's even an option (which I doubt).

  • e jerry powell

    Okay, I guess what my real beef is here is using Bill Cosby's relative film success as some sort of example, because Cosby comes from a time when perhaps expectations were different that they are for, say, Kristen Bell. He was a working actor. A stand-up comedian who jumped into a television spy show in his late twenties and film in his early thirties, when box office numbers that we would see as serious failures today were completely unthinkable. Perhaps the movies he made after 1984 were a bit stinky, but that was due to, say, elevated expectations, movies made when Cosby was expected to be more brand than working actor.

    He sold a lot of Jell-O Pudding Pops, though. At least until people found out that he was more human being than Affable Universal Father Figure. But that would knock him out of the running for Most Beloved Television Actor, so...

  • Some Guy

    "At least until people found out that he was more human being than Affable Universal Father Figure."

    I know, right? His career never really recovered after all those "New Coke" TV spots...

    Apparently Coke ISN'T it...

  • e jerry powell

    Come to think of it, by today's standards, what do we make of the careers of, say, Billy Dee Williams (who was a working actor long before The Empire Strikes Back), his Lady Sings The Blues and The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings second banana, RIchard Pryor, who had a pretty good life as a road comic and in both film and TV -- and basically had Eddie Murphy's career before Eddie Murphy joined SNL in 1980 -- or any of a number of TV-to-film careers between the end of the studio system (circa 1959) and the rise of the actor-owned production company?


    So really, given the commentary on Elizabeth Banks, the discussion is really about why actors do or don't become bigger commodities in terms of scale, right?

    Except that not everybody has to be. Rita Moreno. Old enough to be my grandmother (but for the fact that my grandmother was old enough to be Rita Moreno's mother). Movie star (Oscar). Broadway star (Tony). TV star (Emmy & Grammy). A pretty successful career, though I guess from a time when one's career in entertainment wasn't measured by how many $100 million pictures a performer carried. Does that make her just another disappointing TV star compared to, say, Julia Roberts? They have the same number of Oscars, right?

  • Skyler Durden

    Braff was in the number 1 movie last week! And the week before!

    As for Admission...I wanted to see it...but *someone* advised against it, describing it as an airplane movie.

  • Devin McMusters

    JD had the number one movie voicing a flying monkey, and at the same time a hit commercial voicing a water filter!

  • L.O.V.E.

    I consider Olyphant and Banks more like movie actors - not quite stars -- who have transitioned well to TV stardom. Olyphant was great in "Go" and "Girl Next Door", but was probably not destined to be the next Cruise or Pitt.

  • Fredo

    It may sound like I'm picking a fight with just about everyone on Pajiba when I say this (but I'm not): What exactly has Kristen Bell done besides "Veronica Mars" that merits her being considered for movie stardom? She's not a bad actress but even in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Mila Kunis stole her lunch, her show and her thunder. And nothing she's done in anything else has led me to say "I gotta see more of her!"

    I think that's part of the problem for many of these actors: the part they played on TV was so perfect that it hid their limitations. Perry's was great in "Friends." Bledel was adorable in "Gilmore Girls." Bell's Veronica Mars was note perfect. And so on. But for many of them, seeing them in a different light -- with different writing, directing and format -- acts like a bucket of cold water. It makes us question whether or not the great performance was a result of their talent or a result of great writing of a great part that they got the good fortune to land.

  • Kenneth Cotton

    Someone didn't see fanboys,couples retreat,get him to the greek,scream 4,safety not guaranteed or hit and run (which more then tripled it's budget of 1 million dollars) all of which she played big roles not all did well but all made money and all or almost all are cult classics that she was majorly involved in

  • Mel C.

    I think you're missing the point, Fredo. She doesn't have to do anything else. I've found her awesome, charming and natural in other roles (even when the material sucks), but her VM was so incredible, I'll be saying, "I gotta see more of her!" as long as she's in the business.

  • Carlinha

    I think your theory can be applied to Taylor Kitsch. He was amazing as Tim Riggins in FNL, I loved him. But, he was so so forgettable in John Carter (even though I liked the film).

  • And how good were the VM ratings, anyway? Not *that* great if I can remember. She has a crazy following, but it's very small, relatively speaking.

  • Cree83

    I agree with you for the most part, except I don't think it applies to Matthew Perry. I never expected to be able to see him as anything but Chandler, but then he's gone on to surprise me with his range a bunch of times: on The Good Wife, the few episodes of the West Wing he was on, and even on Studio 60. I think the problem with his movies was that they all came out in the mid to late 90s, when Friends was still popular, so every movie character he played was written to be some version of Chandler Bing. And Chandler Bing just doesn't have it in him to be a big screen leading man.

  • Rantover

    Sadly true for the most part, but I disagree with you regarding Kristen Bell, because I think she's currently doing a great job of playing a vastly different character on House of Lies, and I loved her run on Heroes. Her biggest problem in films has been poor selection. She was upstaged in FSM, but she was up against a great actress in a far more favourable role.

  • Candee

    I would agree. I'd also add that she hasn't chosen the best movies to do. If she didn't go straight for the Rom Coms, she probably wouldn't do too bad.

    Same goes for other actors trying to break out as well. They go for rom coms or nudity instead of something with substance in it.

  • Candee

    Woops, you mentioned that. Ah well. It's true though.

  • Ace

    I wholeheartedly agree. It's just too hard to break out of the characters that made them so lovable in the first place.

    I watched (and mostly enjoyed) all of Studio 60 and can honestly say that I don't want to see Matthew Perry play anyone other than Chandler.

  • AshBookworm

    Matthew Perry is actually really good as a horrid politician on The Good Wife.

  • kirbyjay

    I'll see your Matthew Perry and raise you a Jennifer Aniston.

  • Bodhi

    A thousand time, yes

  • Arran

    I mostly agree, but I thought Perry was the best part of Studio 60 (well, perhaps apart from Amanda Peet). Then again, playing a pill-addicted, chain-smoking showbiz type probably wasn't the biggest stretch for him.

  • loo shag brolley

    Not even Ms. Chanandler Bong?

  • Nicolae

    Ouch. Poor Rusty.

  • Some Guy

    How are we supposed to love these beloved television actors in film when they films they choose s-s-s-s-s-suck?

    And Perry did Whole Nine Yards, which is a great movie for many reasons, Bruce Willis chewing scenery and Amanda Peet's boobs being two of the most obvious ones. Michael Clark Duncan technically had boobs, too, but his were far more fascinating/terrifying....My point. My point is! Matthew Perry definitely had a starring role in that movie, and it did make over 100 million. Worthy of a mention.

    Maybe it's because these particular characters are so "beloved" as TV stars that the transfer to another medium just can't overcome the audience's love of said character. I think it's far easier to identify with and grow to love a particular TV character over almost any film character.

  • Ben

    I think we all know Adam Scott's true calling was in the cinematic masterpiece Torque.

  • Tinkerville

    Thank god for airbags, amirite?

  • richmac

    Was not Ms. Banks in Hunger Games and wasn't Raylan in a Die Hard movie that did okay $135 million domestically and $249 mil internationally?

  • Yeah, and Bledel was a co-lead in the Traveling Pants movies as well. The writeup really focuses on leading roles only, disregarding strong supporting roles in movies that did become hits (see numerous Rudd examples as well).

  • Brown

    Banks wasn't the star of Hunger Games.

  • Kenneth Cotton

    She had a pretty huge role and was arguably the most well known out of the cast at the time the hunger games came out hardly anyone knew who jennifer lawrence was at that point woody harrellson is the only actor in that entire movie who was more well known at the time then banks

  • Bigzilla

    I just want to declare that you're wrong about LIFE'S TOO SHORT. I found it hilarious. That is all.

  • MissAmynae

    Argh, why do y'all never mention Olyphant in "The Girl Next Door"??!! Such an underrated little gem of a movie, and he's deliciously slimy. Mmmm...slimy Olyphant....

    And Bledel was good in Sin City, I don't care what anybody says.

  • WestCoastPat

    Two reasons: 1) The movie isn't an underrated gem. 2) More importantly, the gold standard for Dirty Hot Olyphant is Go. Nothing else compares.

  • MissAmynae

    To each their own on the quality of GND, but I would agree that Go is the Platinum standard for dirty hot, period. Must rewatch soon, thanks for the reminder.

  • Captain_Tuttle

    I thought Olyphant was brilliant in "The First Wives' Club."

  • MissAmynae

    oh god the hair.....

  • Bigzilla

    Because although you're right, Olyphant isn't the star of that movie. Not even close. This isn't saying none of these people have been good movies, just that none have broken out as movie stars.

  • MissAmynae

    oh i know that part, and i fully acknowledge and agree that its not his movie, and that it didnt do great at the box office. Its one of those hangover films that I have to watch every time its on. In general, i just find it frustrating when good performances get overlooked, and it seems that one in particular is left off, that's all.

    I also have a huge soft spot for olyphant, and in a strange way I'm glad he hasnt broken out on film, because it gives him more time to do kick ass tv.

  • Uriah_Creep

    I also have a huge soft spot for olyphant

    And I have a hard spot for Elisha Cuthbert. In my bathing suit area.

  • MissAmynae

    indeed, she is worthy. bonus points for being a hockey fan.

  • Uriah_Creep

    Indeed, and yet I deduct a point for actually being engaged to one (Dion Phaneuf, if they're still an item.) She was supposed to be with me.

  • MissAmynae

    Your time will come...eventually he'll lose all of his teeth, and she'll come running.

  • Arran

    Also, that film didn't do well anyway.

    (I kinda like the film, but my GOD it has the worst song choices. By which I mean the choices are bizarrely chosen, not that they aren't good songs. It was as if the director was given the rights to use all his favourite songs without even thinking about whether they were appropriate. I mean, a simple scene where Elisha Cuthbert's pornstar friends arrive at the airport is soundtracked by...Marvin Gaye's heartfelt Vietnam-era plea for tolerance in a world gone mad, What's Goin' On. Pardon?)

  • I think it's less of a Tina Fey thing and way more of a Paul Rudd thing. Let's face it: we love the guy but when's the last time he actually got people in theaters? He's never been Leading Man material, though he does really well with ensembles that have much bigger stars in them. But...yeah, no one's gonna go see a Paul Rudd movie. Plus the trailers just made it seem really shitty.

    Kristen Bell should just stop trying. She makes shitty movies that don't make any money and I don't think Veronica Mars will change any of that.

  • Bedewcrock

    My favorite Community quote about Paul Rudd:

    Shirley: You think religion is stupid.
    Jeff: No, no. To me, religion is like Paul Rudd. I see the appeal and I would never take it away from anyone, but I would also never stand in line for it.

  • Damn, that's a good one.

    I really like him in small doses, like Bobby Newport or Brian Fantana, but yeah, not gonna go stand in line for him.

  • Cz


  • Jobin

    I Love You Man slays me.

  • Marianne Villanueva

    I would like to add two more names to this list: Taylor Kitsch and Hayden Panetierre!

  • Aaww, poor Taylor. He tried so hard!

  • Pants-are-a-must

    I've seen more people online quoting "THAT IS MAHOGANY" than any other of Banks' roles. I'd also like to add that Banks is a dynamite producer, considering how involved she was in bringing Pitch Perfect to life.

  • To be fair, Hitman grossed almost $100 million worldwide on a $24 million budget. (Which is probably why the studio just greenlit a sequel, without Olyphant.)

    That said, I much prefer Timothy stay on TV.

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