FORBES – Chris Evans is a superhero at the box office–and the bottom line. The 34-year-old Captain America star is this year’s best actor for the buck: For every $1 Evans was paid for his recent films, they returned an average $181.80.

Evans leads this year’s ranking of Hollywood’s best investments ahead of Mila Kunis ($87.30 return for every $1 paid) and the world’s second-highest-paid actress Scarlett Johansson ($84.90 return for every $1 paid). The expensive Jupiter Ascending did little to dent Kunis’ returns from Ted and Oz The Great and Powerful, making her the second-best actor for the money.

Four of the top five best actors for the buck are women, illustrating Tinseltown’s gender pay disparity. Female leads are often paid less than their male counterparts but can offer remarkable returns. Take Johansson, for example: Her last three major films grossed a combined $2.58 billion while her aggregate compensation probably hovered around 1% of that, FORBES estimates. These ticket booth triumphs ensure she ranks third on this year’s list, though her rising fees may make her ineligible in the future.

To compile our rundown of Hollywood’s Best Actors For The Buck, we used earnings estimates from our Celebrity 100 list. We looked at the last three films each actor starred in before June 2015 (the end of our Celebrity 100 scoring period). We did not include animated films, movies where the actor appeared in a very small role, or movies that were released on fewer than 2,000 screens.

We then deducted the estimated production budget from the global box office for each film (using numbers from Box Office Mojo and other sources) to come up with a limited definition of each movie’s operating income. We added together the estimated total compensation for each star on the three movies and the operating income from each movie and then divided to come up with the final return on investment number.

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Labels: News

THE WRAP – Scarlett Johansson is in final negotiations to star in Sony’s raunchy comedy “Move That Body,” TheWrap has learned.

Sony acquired the script by Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs in a heated bidding war over the summer. The project has been described as “The Hangover” meets “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

Aniello (“Broad City”) is set to direct, while Downs is attached to co-star. The duo will also produce under their Paulilu banner along with Matt Tolmach and Dave Becky.

The script, which was voted to the 2015 Black List on Monday, follows five friends who rent a beach house in Miami for a bachelorette weekend and accidentally kill a male stripper.

Johansson is coming off “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and will next be seen in the Coen brothers’ showbiz comedy “Hail, Caesar!” She has Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” and Disney’s “The Jungle Book” on the horizon, and is also attached to star in “Ghost in the Shell” for DreamWorks.

Johansson is represented by CAA, LBI Entertainment and attorney Kevin Yorn of Morris Yorn.

Labels: Projects, Rumored Roles

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – Black Widow never has it easy.

Onscreen, Natasha Romanov has an agonizing backstory and is working like hell to do enough good to erase the red from her moral ledger, redeeming a history of bad deeds that we are only allowed to imagine with acts of heroism that defy belief.

Offscreen, much of what Scarlett Johansson’s character does is scrutinized through the lens of gender politics. As one of the few female protagonists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (until recently), some view her not just as an individual character but as a representative for all womankind. That’s heavy lifting even for a superhero.

Amid accusations that her story arc in Avengers: Age of Ultron was stereotyped and offensive — because, like Tony Stark, she expressed a desire to step back from saving the world (and maybe find someone in it to love, and love her back) — Black Widow became a lightning rod.

Some accused writer-director Joss Whedon of sexism for a storyline that involved Widow developing romantic feelings for Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner in the comic-book version of the Beauty and the Beast folktale. Others were outraged that Widow expressed regret over the juvenile assassin program that forced her to be sterilized. Still others took offense at that complaint, saying the desire to have a family doesn’t mean a woman can’t have a career (beating the hell out of evildoers, or otherwise).

NPR’s pop culture critic Linda Holmes astutely noted that even if you swapped out Widow’s story in Ultron with the arcs of any of her male co-Avengers, each would still “raise questions of whether the story was influenced by gender stereotypes.” If she was Iron Man, she’d be the problem-causer. If she was Captain America, she’d be the uptight one. If she was Hulk, she’d have out-of-control emotions. And so on…

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Labels: Articles and Interviews, Captain America: Civil War, Projects

VANITY FAIR – In 2007, Bono helped launch his (Red) organization—which recruited major companies to fork over some of their mall-going customers’ money to fund the fight against AIDS—within Vanity Fair’s very pages. Eight years and $320 million later in its revolutionary crusade against the pandemic, the conscious consumerism effort co-founded by Bobby Shriver is still going strong, and has a new holiday initiative—(Red)Shopathon—that will kick off on December 1, World AIDS Day.

In the spirit of the charitable holiday extravaganza, Scarlett Johansson doffed her movie-star cap for commercial jingle-singing duties, belting out a tune written by Barry Manilow and brokered by Jimmy Kimmel.

Labels: Charity Work, RED