Perhaps all my blog posts will be spurred by listening to podcasts. The most recent B.S. Report features screenwriter William Goldman. In their wide-ranging discussion, Goldman points out that, for this first time in film history, there’s only one certifiable, bankable movie star left, one actor who can open a picture — Will Smith. This point was a coincidence for me, as just yesterday, I was looking at the box office take of film actors. If you sort it by average box office gross per film, the top three are Daniel Radcliffe, Robert Pattinson, and Orlando Bloom. It illuminates what has happened with Hollywood — it’s all about the bankable franchise (in this case, Harry Potter, Twilight, and the Lord of the Rings – Pirates of the Carribbean combo). Hollywood doesn’t need stars (and probably doesn’t want them). Vetted properties are what now sells tickets. What has changed? Why don’t actors and actresses have the pull they once had?