There used to be a time when the word "Schwarzenegger" printed atop a movie poster was enough to force 80 percent of the world to buy a ticket. Even Batman & Robin headlined with the promise of everyone's favorite Austrian monolith smothered in blue pixie makeup -- his face and name dominating all promotional material and even the credits, despite the fact that he was by no means the main character.
Something something ice something whatever.
That was in no way unusual, because action stars like Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Van Damme, and Steven "Adorable Hair" Seagal used to be some of the biggest stars in the world. But then something happened: The new millennium gave birth to the superhero genre, and suddenly having turbo muscles and a delightful name didn't matter as much anymore.
That sounds counterintuitive, because Marvel Studios' Chris collection is an assortment of enormous dudes, but the most popular character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr. Before Iron Man, the most financially successful superhero films were the Spider-Man trilogy, wherein Spider-Man was played by an in-shape (but by no means cybernetically biceped) Tobey Maguire. We don't need our action stars to look like alien gladiators anymore -- we just care about the character they're playing. To be fair, it certainly didn't hurt Guardians Of The Galaxy when Chris Pratt transformed from a dancing watermelon into Astronaut Freakzilla, but we would've loved him either way.
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
"They're called love handles for a reason."