With the mighty success of Star Trek this weekend, and the inevitable sequels to come, Chris Pine, who played Captain James T. Kirk, must be singing, “Hallelujah!” at the top of his lungs, and not just because his film opened so well. He’s overjoyed because his career has been rescued from the world of the struggling-to-break-out-actor. No more teenybopper dreck, mediocre scripts, local television station interviews, and general disrespect! No, Chris Pine just beamed himself to the top of the A-list! I’m not gonna lie, when I saw Star Trek, this guy seemed like the man! The role of Captain Kirk calls for a certain swagger, and I think Pine did a great, often hilarious, job throughout the film. He’s the kind of guy that girls can crush on, but can still have other dudes think he’s cool. From here, Chris Pine is destined for an illustrious career in film. I’m sure his agent’s phones have been ringing off the hook today, trying to get him to sign on for The Green Lantern film he’s allegedly been attached to. It must be a nice feeling for Pine to get this kind recognition, as his career has been decidedly unimpressive up until now. Take a look at what I mean:
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) – $95 million
Chris Pine’s film debut in this cheesy Disney sequel proved to be the pinnacle of his career until Star Trek‘s debut. He played the dashing Henry Devereaux, one of Ms. Hathaway’s refined potential suitors, but based on his next set of roles, no one remembered anything about Pine except his good looks…
Just My Luck (2006) – $17 million
Poor Chris Pine. When he got this role in 2005, he must have been excited to be starring in a film alongside Lindsay Lohan, who was the “it girl” of the moment. Unfortunately, by 2006, Lohan was already so far gone in the paparazzi/drug/party/alcohol scene that she was more of a liability than an in-demand actress. Add in the fact that Just My Luck was a terrible movie, and you have a wretched $17 million finish.
Smokin’ Aces (2006) – $35 million
This film was trying so hard to be cool. So hard. They cast people like Alicia Keys, Ben Affleck, Common, and Jeremy Piven, all in the hopes of crafting a super-sleek thriller and attracting young, hip audiences. The film failed on both accounts. What resulted was a loud, senseless, clunky action film that fared poorly at the box office. Chris Pine didn’t even receive top billing.
Bottle Shock (2008) – $4 million
Chris Pine had a leading role in this 2008 wine-tasting drama that never quite caught on with critics or audiences. Though the limited release film petered out with just $4 million, it was a great step that Pine was offered a leading role in a serious film. For all the value in the craft of acting, though, box office still matters, and in just three and a half days, Star Trek outgrossed Bottle Shock by a factor of 20. Crazy.
Basically, Chris Pine has arrived, and with his sudden box office viability, I’d bet Lindsay Lohan is begging him for roles, now. Welcome to the high roller’s club, Mr. Pine! It’s great to see you there, especially since you paid your dues with the aforementioned titles.
Are you happy about Chris Pine’s breakout? Are there any other young actors that you think deserve similar recognition? Let me know in the comments!