Culture Clips: Total Eclipse of the Charts

Bonnie Tyler

Where were you during the eclipse? We all know where singer Bonnie Tyler was: aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, singing her 1983 hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart” in that raspy way of hers.

Let me guess what she’s doing today, too: Counting all the new moola she’s earned from this relatively ancient tune.

About 34 years after “Total Eclipse” first landed on top of the charts, Tyler’s tortured ballad hit No. 1 again, at least on iTunes. It did pretty well elsewhere, too. According to Nielsen, sales for the single increased by more than 500% for the week ending Aug. 20. Every now and then Tyler makes a little bit o’ money, apparently.

‘Course, she’s not the only celebrity making some serious cash. Forbes magazine unveiled its annual lists of the world’s highest-paid actors and actresses recently, and the top earners just might be a surprise.

Mark Wahlberg was Forbes’ top-earning actor at $68 million last year, shoving aside second-place Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his $65 million for the honors. (Another Fast and Furious star, Vin Diesel, was third with $54.5 million. And fourth was … Adam Sandler? Go figure.)

The top earning actress, Emma Stone, brought in $32 million less than Wahlberg … but  with $26 million in earnings, I don’t think the La La Land star will be going hungry anytime soon. Jennifer Lawrence, who had headed the list the last two years, slipped to second with $24 million this time around.

Still, the earnings of both of these Oscar-winners pale in comparison to those by a woman whose most famous starring role came in a leaked sex tape. Kim Kardashian collected $45.5 million this year from, as The Hollywood Reporter’s Leslie Bruce puts it, “a brand she built on self-aggrandizement, shameless product peddling and nude selfies.”  Oh, and the Kardashians as a whole? According to The Hollywood Reporter, they now hold, collectively a $1 billion brand. (Theoretically, the family might soon be able to purchase the principality of Montenegro and rename it Kardashianstan.)

But even that number looks positively puny when held up to the 2.5 billion that comedian Jerry Lewis earned … for charity. Lewis—who gained fame as a slapstick comedian, a reputation as a prickly guy to work with and lasting love as an advocate for the Muscular Dystrophy Association—died earlier this week at the age of 91.

We may not have billions, or millions, or thousands, or even hundreds to throw around willy-nilly. But the founder of Netflix wants even us lowly grunts to have the ability to go to a movie every night of the week for just $10 a month. Don’t exactly know how this $10 MoviePass will work long term, given that movie theaters hate it and Netflix is apparently hemorrhaging an obscene amount of cash to make it happen. But perhaps it’s better than watching Netflix at home, given that 98% of folks who binge-watch its shows are at risk of losing sleep.

And frankly, there’s plenty in the culture that might make us lose sleep even without the binge-watching. Child advocates in Indiana are warning parents of the app Yellow, which is being called “Tinder for teens.” Relevant magazine alleges that social networks just might ruin your marriage. Patricia Holbrook, writing for the Atlanta Journal Constitution says that “reality is becoming ever more distorted” by social media, leading to massive levels of insecurity. And that’s not all: Our techno-distractions are creating a sort of existential crisis, according to Steve Casner of Slate. “We’re already designing a whole new world of ways to accidentally off ourselves, and no one seems worried about it,” he writes.

But there is a beacon of hope, at least for the lucky residents of Stamford, Conn. City officials are considering a new law to make texting and even talking on a cell phone while walking illegal, in an attempt to keep distracted pedestrians from killing themselves by walking in front of zooming cars while texting.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a Culture Clips blog if we didn’t mention the latest news from HBO’s Game of Thrones, so we must inform you that an episode was leaked online. Again. HBO Spain accidentally plunked episode six online a wee bit early. Oh, and it seems that online hackers are threatening to leak Season Seven’s grand finale, too. It’s difficult indeed to sit on the Iron Throne.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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