Will Smith is most bankable actor worldwide: Ulmer Scale

MUMBAI: The entertainment database company The Ulmer Scale released its first major overview of star bankability in two years with its new edition of its Actors Hot List.

The 2009/10 edition reveals "a big surprise due to a major recession in the ‘star power’ of Hollywood’s top actors," said company founder and publisher, James Ulmer.

Only two actors – Will Smith and Johnny Depp – managed to climb onto The Ulmer Scale’s renowned A+ list, scoring 96 and 95 points, respectively, out of a possible 100 in studio high-budget movies. Former no. 1 star Tom Cruise saw his ranking tank to 11th place with 80 points, down 18 points from his 2007 tally.

Women sustained the most wide-ranging losses. Former no. 1 star Julia Roberts slipped 11 points to 12th place overall with 80 points, moving off the A+ list for the first time in 15 years due largely to her reduced output of films. Roberts came in second among women after top-seated Reese Witherspoon, who scored 85 points and is the only woman to make the Top 10 in The Ulmer Scale’s global bankability survey of film industry professionals.

Mel Gibson suffered the biggest drop in star power, falling 26 points, followed by Jim Carrey with a 21-point dip. Shia LaBeouf and Daniel Craig topped the list of biggest gainers, rising 43 points and 36 points, respectively. The Hot List also charts the world’s leading black, Hispanic, Asian and South Asian stars.

"In nearly every market sector, Hollywood’s blue chip star stock has fallen. The ability of a star’s name alone to raise money to make a movie – his ‘star power’ – has significantly weakened since we last measured it in 2007," reports Ulmer, who has compiled the survey since founding The Ulmer Scale in 1997.

Ulmer said it was the poorest performance he’d seen in the 20 years since he began measuring star power. He attributed the decline to a plethora of entertainment platforms for the consumer, due to a rapidly fragmenting entertainment marketplace. "Stars’ scores have shrunk because they must increasingly compete for eyeballs with all kinds of screens beyond the silver one," Ulmer added, "and most of those are shrinking too – TV, the Internet, iPhones, even wristwatches."

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