LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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."
APPHOTO NYET844: FILE - This Aug. 30, 2012 file photo shows actor Clint Eastwood addressing an empty chair at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. More than a week after Clint Eastwood delivered a speech to the Republican National Convention, the veteran Hollywood actor-director continues to be mocked for his peculiar, rambling conversation with an imaginary President Barack Obama in an empty chair on stage, begging the question: Will his latest film also be playing to empty seats when it debuts later this month? (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, file) (31 Aug 2012)
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APPHOTO NYET101: This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Clint Eastwood, right, and Amy Adams in a scene from "Trouble with the Curve." The film, about an aging and ailing baseball scout, will be released on Sept. 21. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Keith Bernstein) (17 Mar 2012)
<<APPHOTO NYET101 (03/17/12)>>
APPHOTO NYET845: This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Clint Eastwood, left, and Justin Timberlake in a scene from "Trouble with the Curve." The film, about an aging and ailing baseball scout, will be released on Sept. 21. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Keith Bernstein) (17 Mar 2012)
<<APPHOTO NYET845 (03/17/12)>>