Carter, Taylor, Sailor, Bomb

Apparently poor Taylor Kitsch is no movie star. First “John Carter,” the legendary bomb, and now “Battleship.”  That’s $400 million worth of budget, and a $95 million return, so far.

Audiences have spoken: “Friday Night Lights,” yes. Saturday matinee, no thanks.  Is it fair to lay it all at Taylor’s feet? Surely not. “John Carter” had problems beyond casting. “Battleship” is a weak concept that never tracked strongly with audiences. Blaming Kitsch for the latter would be like blaming Brooklyn Decker.

And Kitsch is a perfectly acceptable standard issue hunk, and a decent actor. I see no huge difference between Kitsch and Channing Tatum, but movie-goers have anointed Tatum  a true star – the definition of “star” being someone who can bring audiences to a mediocre movie.  Like “The Vow,”  which made $125 million.  “21 Jump Street” was actually good, and made even more money -- $135 million.  Tatum is currently on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, hawking his upcoming stripper movie, “‘Magic Mike,” which has every woman in the features department volunteering to contribute sidebars.

Kitsch, for whatever reason, doesn’t have the Tatum pull.  “Battleship,” by the way, was crushed by “The Avengers,” which has pretty good word-of-mouth and made another $55 million. Also holding up well – “Hunger Games,” still making $3 mil a week, and “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” in limited release, up better than 20 percent and adding theaters.