In today's edition:
* Forbes' list of the "Top 10 Most Overpaid Celebrities." The formula the magazine employed measured an actor's compensation for their last three non-animated movies against the income of those movies. Drew Barrymore heads the list, followed by Eddie Murphy, thanks to their strings of recent flops.
Still, this approach is not so rigorous as it might sound. Films are complex collaborations, after all, and their box office performance is an even more complex matter (the timing and promotion of a new release counts for a very great deal), so that a straight correlation between an actor's compensation and a film's earnings is not just simplistic, but simple-minded. (Estimations of an actor's "bankability" have historically stressed opening weekends, when the draw of a well-known name is especially important, for instance.) And then there is the question of what "star power" (as opposed to ) really consists of anyway. (I've always thought of it as largely consisting of accumulated goodwill from being associated with movies audiences actually liked seeing in the past, and the willingness of a fickle, hyperbolic and frankly lobotomized entertainment press to lavish exaggerated praises on this or that figure for one reason or another – making such status not so much tenuous or fragile as illusionary.)
In the end, it is really pretty shallow, but then what can one really expect from Forbes covering Hollywood?
* Google Chrome now offers a feature for eliminating news about selected celebrities from one's browsing experience – a feature I dearly hope will catch on with other browsers before long. ("Sick of hearing about Snooki, Charlie Sheen, or anyone named Kardashian?" this article mentioning the extension asks. Yes, yes, and yes I answered, especially in response to the first. Given that I avoid reality TV like the plague it most assuredly is, I should never have heard about her so many times as to make me wonder "What's a Snooki?" in the first place.)