I hope I'm not too late to the party with this.
One of my close relatives runs a business that, amongst other things, advises major Hollywood studios on the financial viability of film scripts, ie what box office return it is likely to make so they know what upfront investment is worthwhile to still show a profit. A couple of (I think) interesting insights this gives are:
- 'big name' actors do not uplift the box office by as much as their inflated paycheques. They can also actually get in the way of the viewer's experience, ie 'I'm watching so-and-so in X', rather than just watching X.
- it's the story that ultimately determines a film's success. Sounds obvious, I know, but it's not always heeded.
Basically, if the story is good, a talented unknown/relative unknown is the better choice
I don't know if the same holds true for TV, as the PR, publicity, reviewing and word-of-mouth model is different from film, but I'm sure we've all been drawn to watch the first episode of a new series because 'thingummy from whatsit' is in it, and never tuned in for subsequent episodes because the story didn't grab us.
Hi norbi. Re BiB, it certainly sounds like sense, and I can't talk because I rather gave up on cinema years ago, but it seems to me that most box office hits seem to star one of the same 10-15 'big names', which I think probably are a huge draw for fans, but maybe it is in the supporting cast where newcomers have a chance?
As regards TV, I can see that it probably wouldn't have been a realistic idea to cast Brad Bitt as Robbie Donovan, but I'd sure as heck have paid more attention if they had.
Personally, I think TV seems to have an even smaller pool of actors to choose from, hence the reason we see the same old actors time and time again in almost everything. For example, why is almost EVERY ex soap star pretty much guaranteed a place in Holby or Casualty (or The Bill in the old days)?