The Kid$ Are Alright

daniel-radcliffeForbes loves itself some jailbait, especially when that jailbait is capable of earning MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. (Yes, we’re aware we’re wearing out the all-caps thing. It’s a phase. It will pass.) The magazine has just printed its latest bit of financial voodoo, a list of Hollywood’s Most Valuable Young Stars. “Young” is defined as under 19. Sitting pretty at the top are Daniel Radcliffe and Miley Cyrus.

The results are drawn from something called the Forbes Star Currency actors survey, which appears to take age, divide it by box office gross, apply a multiplier based on salary, and then subject the result to the question “Will it keep our users clicking through a sponsored photo flipbook?” The top 10 once we’ve clicked through it, and the experts’ commentary, after the jump.

1. Daniel Radcliffe (Star Currency cumulative score: 6.03 out of 10)
2. Miley Cyrus (5.93)
3. Dakota Fanning (5.58)
4. Abigail Breslin (4.83)
5. Hayden Panettiere (4.14)
6. Emma Watson (4.02)
7. Freddie Highmore (3.73)
8. Keke Palmer (3.17)
9. Emma Roberts (3.07)
10. Anton Yelchin (3.05)

So what’s the secret for these little whelps’ success? A gig on the Disney Channel or being attached to a foolproof franchise, right? Wrong! Apparently, says producer Rick Alvarez, it’s all got to do with range.

“In the past, someone like a Shirley Temple was limited,” says Alvarez. “She was playing herself, and she was the cute little girl with the patent-leather shoes and the curly hair. How do you go from that to playing Cleopatra or Mary, Queen of Scots?”

Alvarez points to Radcliffe as an example, noting that he sold out theatres in a play where he took his clothes off. That these tickets sold mainly to twink chasers and a fan-base who made the transition into puberty at the same time as Harry Potter did doesn’t seem to register with him. Rather, Radcliffe was showing us he could really act. Audiences got “to see him as something else.” (Nude?) Which explains the opening weekend gross of 2007’s December Boys, which took in a wizardly $15,000.

Radcliffe has made the Potter role his own and is very excitable about his indie rock, so here’s hoping he can put the specs and scar to one side and get on with an acting life once the franchise winds down. It’s clear he and his team of handlers want him to be perceived as more than just Harry. But posing nude and being in something that gets shown on BBC2 at 11.55 PM may show range, but not bankability.

The girls have it better. Sure, Cyrus’ range extends to playing Penny in Bolt, somebody in TV show The Replacements, and absolutely nothing outside of the Disney universe. (OK, there was the part in Big Fishwhen she still called herself “Destiny Cyrus.”) But Abigail Breslin made a success job of buoying up the American Girlmovie and LaFanning is a force unto herself, albeit not when she is being raped to the strains of “Heartbreak Hotel”. But that’s not going to stop Alvarez.

“If Haley Joel Osment wasn’t great in The Sixth Sense, that movie might not have worked,” says Alvarez. “Dakota Fanning in War of the Worlds grounds the movie. She gave it a greater sense of humanity.”

Osment has since gone on to a successful career of drunk driving and voicing English versions of Japanese video-games. So enjoy your photo flipbook before VH1 snaps these Junior Mints up.

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2 Responses to “The Kid$ Are Alright”

  1. SD Says:

    The criteria used were a bit more elaborate than what you’ve posted

    Criteria used were:
    -The amount of financing that flows to a project is significantly determined by the individual actor’s presence in a film.
    -The individual actor’s presence in a film guarantees theatrical distribution.
    -The individual actor’s presence significantly drives the film’s theatrical box-office performance.
    -If the individual actor’s involvement is essential in securing rights deals for revenue streams, including DVD, pay/free TV, video-on-demand and online/downloading/streaming (when applicable), as well as a project’s ultimate financial performance in those areas.
    -If the individual actor can attract audiences in any film genre.
    -If the individual actor can attract other top-line talent based on his or her involvement in a film.
    -If the individual actor is popular among most demographic groups.
    -Whether media exposure the individual actor receives (positive or negative) enhances his or her ability to attract financing and audiences to a project.

  2. SquallyShowers Says:

    […] in mid-September. Previously mooted as Hal Jordan: Jack Black (back when the film was a comedy), Anton Yelchin, Chris Pine and … that’s it. More news once our power ring recharges. (Dark […]

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