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IN THE LAST COUPLE of weeks movies starring Bruce Willis, Matt Damon, Jennifer Aniston, Clive Owen and Sandra Bullock have looked downright torpid at the box office while other films featuring clouds and meatballs have performed smartly.
That will get the buzz going again that stars don't mean as much as they used to--an argument that will be blown away the moment another star vehicle hits.
The reality, however, is that stars don't resonate just as actors any more, they are brands that produce multiple revenue streams. Further, the actor-brands must compete with toy brands (like Barbie) or game brands (like Asteroids), so career …