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With 'Burlesque,' Christina Aguilera follows an undesirable pop-star path

November 29, 2010 |  7:00 am

Burle
 
Britney Spears flopped with "Crossroads." Mariah Carey bombed with "Glitter." And now, apparently,  things didn't exactly work out for Christina Aguilera and her movie of musicial becoming, "Burlesque."

Slotting a shiny pop star into a shiny pop movie must seem like the most logical idea in the world at the time that a director or producers comes up with it. But the box-office performance of the Aguilera-Cher movie this weekend once again proved it's not easy for a mega-selling singer to make the jump to acting.

After dreadful reviews that pummeled (among other things) Aguilera's acting, "Burlesque" opened to $17.2 million over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend -- not an unmitigated disaster, but hardly a blockbuster success either, especially considering the movie's marketing assault.

What is it about pop stars, particularly female ones, that has us loving them in our iPods but turning up our noses when they turn up on the big screen? I suppose you could say it's simply a matter of their skills not translating into a new medium. But history suggests otherwise; Doris Day was one of several stars from another era who went from musical stardom to big-screen fame.

Maybe, then, it's a question of not wanting to see a contemporary multi-platinum recording artist as an ingenue, as Carey was in her film and Aguilera was in this one. Or maybe we just find a singer playing a singer, as so many do in these contemporary films, just a little bit redundant. 

In fact, sometimes it seems as though the only time we truly like a pop star on the big screen is when said star is doing something very different from what made her famous. We eventually came to embrace Carey in "Precious," Madonna in "Evita" and even Cher herself once she left behind her early roles in light music movies and moved on to the likes of "Mask" and "Silkwood."

So maybe music stars can make a go of it on the big screen. But they need a certain amount of chops, a good role and a lot of discernment. Be very careful, Lady Gaga.

-- Steven Zeitchik
twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Christina Aguilera in "Burlesque." Credit: Screen Gems

RECENT AND RELATED:

"Tangled" feasts as "Burlesque" and others fight for leftovers

Movie Review: "Burlesque"

Critical Mass: "Burlesque" -- Just bad, or so bad it's good?

 


 
Comments () | Archives (22)

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Burlesque did fine! Why are you guys at the L.A. Times trying to paint this as some disaster? Did it make huge numbers? No. Did it do terribly? No. It made average numbers and made what most musicals do on their opening weekends. Give it a rest already. Its already made Nine's entire domestic gross in less than a week, and had a better opening weekend than Chicago, Rent, Sweeney Todd, and others. Musicals are not huge openers, period.

It received an A- on CinemaScore which means it will have great word of mouth, which leads to longer legs at the box office.

This isn't a big mystery. The movies are bad. The stories are formulaic, the jokes are trite, and the performances are perfunctory at best. Audiences did not reject Mariah Carey in "Glitter". They rejected an execrable film as they have done many times before and are now doing with "Burlesque". The quality of these movies starring shiny pop divas is on a par with the quality of the music made by actors.

You are pressed and these are lies. The movie has the fourth best opening week in history for a musical. The Burlesque received great reviews and the ones that were bad, critized the plot not the acting or music. The soundtrack is #1 on Itunes. The audience gave it A- rate. That's amazing.

Why the media want to destroy Christina? You are all jealous. She's the most talented singer out there and the movie is doing great.

This was what they projected the movie to make. There was heavy competition from Harry Potter and other family friendly movies. 17 million is great for an original musical and the movie was very entertaining. You are jumping the gun, especially since the movie has not premiered internationally yet.

Who goes to a movie called "Burlesque" for an enlightening story line? I went for the spectacular costumes, sets and incredible singing from Aguilera. The movie is mostly performances and I was certainly entertained.

you're lost.

I saw the movie and I love it , xtina & Cher where espectacular !! 18.000.000 for a musical is great , you thry to put the movie down and tha is not cool cuzz the movie was really good from the begining to finish let's gived a breack burlesque opens only in the USA & Canada. Let's way till opens world wide the soundtrack is just amazing and is# 1 in iTunes USA !! And I don't know why you have to mantion man gaga on this post ? Xtina is 100000000 better than tranny gaga . Xtina always will be 11 years up , more talented , richer$$$$$$$$$ , hotter, and way more beautiful than man caca. Juts said.:(

I loved the movie. I think critics are just hard on Christina in general, and overlook the positives of her career.
Burlesque is actually a box office success, coming out at a very family oriented holiday weekend, and the soundtrack is tearing up on Itunes.
I'm so proud of her peformance. The movie is pure Popcorn Bliss, and she's such a natural actress! I could watch this movie over and over, and I think it's a GREAT starting point.
Also, if you're concerned with the judgement placed on female singers turned actresses in particular, maybe you should stop comparing them to each other as if they're pairs of shoes. I expect male critics to bash something they instantly dismiss as a "chick film", but it's just sad when the female ones help.

Oh Jeez! The movie did well. It wasn't a flop! $17 million is great for a musical and the movie was amazing. I absolutely loved it! Why is the press trying so hard to bash this movie and make it out to be a big failure? What musicals do you know open to big box office numbers? That's a rarity and the movie hasn't even opened internationally yet, which I believe will make a nice amount of money. The people who went to go see the movie loved it also. It has an A- grade over at yahoo movies, so stop it already. This article is so freakin misleading. Did Glitter make $17 million dollars when it opened? It couldn't make that money period! I really wish people would stop comparing everything Christina does to everybody else. Burlesque was better than all of those movies you mentioned and it was being bashed before anyone even saw it, just because people wanted to be negative!

I don't think it did that bad ! it's a good modest number considering the bad reviews , there are movies that have opened at number 1 with smaller numbers and the media acted like it was a hit.....the Los Angeles times is very intent on focusing on the negative even after it's release , how someone decided let's pay people to criticize others that are doing the same thing you do wich is your passion , is beyond me . some of the reviews for various movies and albums and other forms of entertainment from the l.a times are as boring as watching ice melt ...so unless you can belt out a tune like she can , write yor own songs , manage to accomplish what she has , and at her age btw , than you should keep your opinions behind closed lips ....

I loved the movie, granted I am pretty biased with Christina being my favorite pop star since childhood. But my interest in the pop industry plummeted with all the wannabes making the stage now; but I can always love Christina. I personally think most people are too close minded to appreciate true talent rather than just acting and also have lost taste for real music. Christina Aguilera is among one of the very few in the music business with any natural born talent.

I saw the movie this past Friday, sold out show in NYC, Whole auidence loved the film, people clapped at the ending, last time I experienced this I cant even remember... I'm not a Christina fan but she was amazing, Her acting and singing blew me away, Cher was incredible,, the whole film was AMAZING.. Everyone I know agress, only people I see say the movie is no good are critics.

I guess If Barbara Streisand and say Leah Micele from Glee were in it, the critics would be saying its a Classi- 5 stars.

I disagree with your review. I thought the acting was really good. I felt as thou I was sitting there in person viewing a broadway show. Christina looked fabulous, and the movie was very upbeat. Cher looked as beautiful as always, and as for Cam Gigandet all I can say is yummy. The singing was amazing, and the costumes were really beautiful. I truely enjoyed the movie!! two thumbs up.

The movie was great! Yes some of the lines were off but overall the musical aspect was great as well as the costumes and set. Its a fun movie and lots of skin for the boys and girls! P.S. I've seen BAD movies this was NOT close.

What planet did you fall off of?? I don't understand why someone doesn't recognize talent and showmanship when they see and hear it!! Christina IS the "BOMB" in this movie!! She has great talent and is a wonderful performer! This movie was done with a lot of class and the acting in it is SUPERB, with Cher (who is so amazing and awesome, still ) and Christina, just amazing!! Don't believe what was written in this article, go see for yourself....trust me, you won't be disappointed and it's worth the time and money spent! I have seen it twice and will see it again and again and can't wait till it comes out on video!! Take a chance and decide for yourself!! It's about performance and talent....from many stars in the movie!

sincerely,

Elaine

The critics suck! The movie was entertaining. I did find that it was alot like Chicago, but with better singers. Critics gave it a C+ on Google, but the public gave it an A. Why? Because the critics are looking for enlightenment from movies, whereas the public understand that it's entertainment.
I always find it funny when they send a critic that sings the praises of Eat, Pray, Love to review The Expendables.

I think the movie did fine, it wasnt a huge hit but it was not a flop. and how dare compare this to Mariah's Glitter, that movie was an epic disaster. Its a disgrace compare those two. It's like putting water and wine against each other. RUDE LA TIMES, JUST RUDE!

I loved the movie! I go out often in NYC to see burlesque shows and understand there are many different styles of burlesque and Aguilera's interpretation was glitzy and fun. It doesn't always have to be about a statement or convey some sort of radical message. I went to see eye candy and got more than my fill. Aguilera is an incredible entertainer.

Yea, Crossroads wasn't a flop, it cost 12 million to make and took in 35 million domestically. Britney was only 18 and it was a cute small movie, that had zero affect on her career in a negative way. It was meant for her young teen girl fans who did actually enjoy it. It was never marketed as some big event like Burlesque was, as a matter of fact it wasn't promoted heavy at all.

Leave it to the LA times to try and suck the life out of a fun, entertaining movie. None of the films lately have broke the bank except children's movies. A movie like "Tangled" or "Harry Potter" is of no interest to me. I have never seen a single Harry Potter movie, ever! I rarely go to the movies any more because there is nothing but crap being made or animation nonsense. I like movies like "Nuts" with Bab's Streisand and that was a considered a box office disappoint in 1987. It is a GREAT, well acted film. Bab's deserved an Oscar nomination but didn't get anything. Oddly enough CHER won her Oscar that year for "Moonstruck". I'm delighted CHER won but I have to say, I hated that movie! Another GREAT movie is "Secrets & Lies" with Brenda Blethan. She did get an Oscar nomination for the role but did not win. The critic have not clue to what people want to see and you should never base a review you read in the "Times"on weather to see it or not. The "Times" stinks!!!

Its funny because the films budget was 55 million... its currently grossed 81.3 million dollars.. and theres plenty more to come.. and her soundtrack topped itunes and taiwan said that Burlesque was the best musical of all time in their country
FLOP?? I think not

Stupid articles, Burlesque almost grosses $100 million worlwide. It was successful and seen by a lot people. HATERS TO THE LEFT!


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