LOS ANGELES -- Clint Eastwood has a new movie coming out in a couple weeks -- but some are wondering if his Republican National Convention act, in which he railed at an empty chair, will end up keeping seats in theaters empty.
Eastwood's nearly 12-minute-long speech, partially directed to an imaginary President Barack Obama, has inspired a string of mocking follow-ups on social media, including videos of the chair hosting a press conference and a montage of empty seats cut into Eastwood film scenes.
One expert on celebrity culture says, unless an actor has done something "truly egregious," people will still go to see the movie. Professor S. Mark Young at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business compares Eastwood's situation to Tom Cruise jumping on a couch on Oprah Winfrey's show, noting that Cruise movies still draw crowds.
Eastwood's new film, "Trouble With the Curve," opens nationwide Sept. 21. He plays a past-his-prime baseball scout on a last-chance scouting trip.
The 82-year-old actor is expected to attend the premiere, and his manager says Eastwood will likely appear on one talk show to promote the film. He notes Eastwood usually "chooses to do what he wants to do."
The Associated Press