Generally speaking, the more an actor’s career goes on, the more beloved they become: witness Kirk Douglas at the Oscars this past weekend, or the continuing work of Betty White. Over time, an actor becomes so familiar to audiences that they start to feel almost like part of one’s family. Even when someone falls by the wayside for a few years, affection can be maintained for them — hence the popularity of ‘where are they now?’ type features. Of course, this doesn’t work for everyone — for instance, take the case of Katherine Heigl.
Starting out as a child star in pictures like Steven Soderbergh‘s “King of the Hill” and “Under Siege 2,” Heigl moved into adulthood, and a gentle kind of stardom, on the TV show “Roswell.” A few fallow years followed, with parts including a made-for-TV prequel to “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” and the thriller “Zyzzyx Road,” which became infamous as grossing only $30 in its opening weekend, but she soon became bigger than ever: first as part of the cast of medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” and then as the last-minute replacement for Anne Hathaway in Judd Apatow‘s “Knocked Up.”
America’s newest sweetheart? Not so much — since then, a mixture of prickly public behavior (including bashing Apatow and the writers on “Grey’s Anatomy“) and starring in four truly horrible romantic comedies — “27 Dresses,” “The Ugly Truth,” “Killers” and “Life As We Know It” — to decreasing returns, has tarnished the star’s brand. While she’s undeniably a movie star (none of her vehicles have made less than $45 million at the box office, not a bad average at all), it’s hard not to think that Heigl’s career needs a rethink at this point.
The actress’ latest vehicle, “One for the Money,” has just been moved up by distributor Lionsgate. Having previously been set for release on July 8th, where it faced tough demographic competition in the form of “Horrible Bosses,” “The Zookeeper” and “One Day,” the studio have shifted the film a month earlier, to June 3rd, where it’ll now compete against the superhero tentpole “X-Men: First Class.”
It’s not a bad piece of counter-programming in theory, although it’s the same date that “Killers,” Heigl’s lowest-grossing film opened on last year, and that film had Ashton Kutcher as well. Furthermore, “One For The Money” which is the first of a planned franchise about a divorced bail bondswoman, Stephanie Plum, based on the books by Janet Evanovich, seems to be even more low-rent than that film: the supporting cast, in which John Leguizamo, Debbie Reynolds and “Life on Mars” star Jason O’Mara are the only recognizable names, and the presence of TV veteran Julie Anne Robinson, who’s making her feature debut, makes it feel at this stage like the pilot for a show, rather than an actual motion picture.
Still, without having seen even a trailer for the film, we won’t dismiss it entirely, but it’s fair to say that we’re expecting it to be exactly half as good as D.J. Caruso‘s “Two For The Money.” “One For The Money” hits on June 3rd. [Box Office Mojo]