The circular firing squad that was the box office this week (roughly ten new significant releases) ended with Simon Pegg's film, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, bleeding on the ground. The box office death of another hyped British star trying to cross into the American market makes this a good time to raise this question - has there ever been a bigger gap between acting fame in England and in America?
Almost every touted British star that has tried to cross the pond lately has met with less than expected success. Ricky Gervais just had his film Ghost Town do ho-hum business. Steve Coogan has never quite caught on. Cillian Murphy. Colin Farell. Orlando Bloom. Sienna Miller.
Even the ones who have had success haven't had quite the success expected. Clive Owen is well known, but never quite the star expected. Christian Bale, great actor that he is, is the most anonymous Batman, and that's what he is best known for. Along those lines, Daniel Craig isn't nearly as famous here as he is in England. He's still slightly "the new Bond." Famous as she is, most of Keira Knightley's non-Pirates box office success has been in presitge indies that are profitable compared to costs. She hasn't had her own star vehicle box office smash yet.
There are exceptions. James McAvoy might be one. But maybe not quite yet. Still, it's interesting to contemplate.