Movie Stars: Power In the Movie Industry and Out

It is important to assess the bargaining power of stars within Hollywood, over film projects, salaries, casting, etc. 

Film stars owning their production companies (Redford, Eastwood, Hanks, DiCaprio) thus exercising a greater control over their careers, has been a relatively recent phenomenon. 

What are the implications of this trend for the kinds and quality of the films being made?  In the past, the popular stars used to make three or four movies a year, thus if one film failed, the next one was released within weeks. 

Continuous exposure and extensive publicity, both supervised by the studios, were crucial practices in maintaining intimate contact between performers and their audiences. 

At present, however, when fewer star-driven films are made, and even the successful stars appear at best in one movie every year. The trend is more likely to be a new picture every other year.

More importantly, lacking studio sponsorship (since every movie might be made at a different studio), they have to make it on their own, with every single film. 

Reel Vs. Real Power

Then there is the crucial issue of stars’ actual power at the box-office.  Under what conditions, for example, the sheer presence of stars can make average (or bad) films commercial hits with the public?  Phrased differently, which factors are most crucial in motivating moviegoers to see a particular film: its topic, genre, director, or stars?