I am a big fan of Olivia Wilde: She is funny, intelligent, and incredibly attractive (and she absolutely kills in Drinking Buddies with Jake Johnson, which premiered at SXSW this year). There’s a reason why she and Jason Sudeikis make a great couple. They are well matched in the quick wit category. If you’ve had an opportunity to see interviews with Wilde or see her in person, you’ll see why she’s consistently cast in both comedies and big action pictures. She’s an awesome all-around actress and personality. As Josh Kurp noted last week in his write-up of Wilde’s Q&A with Kelly Oxford, Wilde should be the person to replace Jimmy Fallon on “Late Night.”
Wilde’s effortlessly funny, had excellent timing, knew when to let the guest speak and when it was time for her to chip in, and she seemed genuinely engaged in the conversation.
It’s all the more important that Olivia Wilde make that transition (or something like it) because she is terrible at movies. I’m not saying she’s bad in them. In fact, she’s often the best thing about the movies she’s in. But for whatever reason, she’s either terrible at choosing movies, or someone put a pox on her because everything she appears in ends up failing financially. Yes, she has been in two $100 million movies, but even those two movies came in well below expectations.
Wilde is pure, old-school box-office poison. Don’t believe me: Check out her box-office filmography (budget numbers in parenthesis where available). It doesn’t matter if she’s the lead, a supporting character, or a bit player. All of her movies fail. You can’t pin the blame, really, on her for any of these flops, but one thing is true of all of them: Olivia Wilde is in them.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone — $10 million (on a $30 million budget)
Deadfall — $66,000
Butter — $105,000
The Words — $11 million
People Like Us — $12 million (on a $16 million budget)
In Time — $37 million (on a $40 million budget)
Change-Up — $37 million (on a $52 million budget)
Cowboys and Aliens — $100 million (on a $163 million budget)
Tron Legacy — $172 million (on a $170 million budget)
The Next Three Days — $21 million (on a $30 million budget)
Fix — $9,890
Alpha Dog — $15 million
Year One — $43 million (on a $60 million budget)
Turistas — $7 million (on a $10 million budget)