One big-budget box office disappointment does not usually signal the end of a movie star's reign. The woeful under performance of Land of the Lost has observers looking for someone to blame, however, and Will Ferrell is under suspicion. Writing in the Los Angeles Times, columnist Patrick Goldstein suggests: "He's in danger of becoming the comedy equivalent of George Clooney, someone who enjoys a great deal of goodwill but who isn't actually a real movie star."
Goldstein doesn't provide his definition of a "real movie star," but in the context of his column, it clearly is all about the ability to open a big tent pole production to big box office numbers. Goldstein claims: "The verdict in Hollywood: Ferrell hasn't done a good job of managing his brand. [Adam] Sandler is the master of dumb hijinks. Eddie Murphy has become a cuddly family star. But who is Will Ferrell? No one knows anymore."
The theory is that Ferrell made his bones playing "the stupid guy" in a string of raunchy comedies (Old School, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) but hasn't been accepted when it's branched out (Melinda and Melinda, Bewitched, Stranger Than Fiction). Ferrell evidently plays another "stupid guy" in Land of the Lost, but it wasn't sufficiently outrageous for the teen/20s crowd, who flocked to The Hangover, and was too potentially scary for families, who returned to Up.
Why did you skip Land of the Lost? Confused by the marketing? Burned out on Will Ferrell? Do you want to see him return to raunchy, R-rated comedies -- like The Hangover? Are Ferrell and George Clooney "real" movie stars?