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Ulmer Scale

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Subject: A-list, Typecasting (acting)
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Ulmer Scale

For other uses, see A-list (disambiguation).

A-list is a term that alludes to major movie stars, or the most bankable in the Hollywood film industry.

The A-list is part of a larger guide called The Hot List that has become an industry-standard guide in Hollywood. James Ulmer has also developed a Hot List of directors.[1]

Ulmer Scale

Developed in 1997 by entertainment journalist James Ulmer, the Ulmer Scale is a 100-point rating that aims to quantify a star's value to a film production.[2] The scale predicts value in terms of getting a movie financed and in production based solely on an actor's attachment to the project; score is based on their historical box office success, versatility, professional demeanor, and ability and willingness to travel and promote movies.

Ulmer's Top 10 list in 2009 (in order of 'bankable' value):[2]

  1. Will Smith
  2. Johnny Depp
  3. Brad Pitt
  4. Tom Hanks
  5. George Clooney
  6. Will Ferrell
  7. Reese Witherspoon
  8. Nicolas Cage
  9. Leonardo DiCaprio
  10. Russell Crowe

The top 10 list in 2006 included:[3]

  1. Tom Hanks
  2. Tom Cruise
  3. Jim Carrey
  4. George Clooney
  5. Russell Crowe
  6. Johnny Depp
  7. Nicole Kidman
  8. Jude Law
  9. Brad Pitt
  10. Julia Roberts

Popular usage

In popular usage outside the film industry, an "A-list celebrity" simply refers to any person with an admired or desirable social status.[4] In recent times, the term has given rise to any person, regardless of profession, in the limelight. Even socialites with popular press coverage have been termed as "A-list" celebrities. Similarly, less popular persons and current teen idols are referred to as "B-list – and the ones with lesser fame "C-list".[5] Entertainment Weekly interpreted C-list celebrity as "that guy (or sometimes that girl), the easy-to-remember but hard-to-name character actor."[6]

"D-list" is the lowest rating on the Ulmer Scale,[7] and it is often used to describe persons whose celebrity is so obscure that they are generally only known for appearances as so-called celebrities on panel game shows and reality television. Kathy Griffin, a comedian who became widely known for her frequent appearances on such programs, uses the term in a tongue-in-cheek manner for her TV series Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. Alternatively successive letters of the alphabet beyond D, such as "E-list" or "Z-list" are used for exaggeration or comic effect, but effectively have the same meaning as D-list.

Some celebrities who begin their careers in this way eventually rise in fame to upper levels of the B-list or, depending on the definition, even the A-list; examples include the members of the Kardashian family and Paris Hilton.

See also


External links

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