Planet's stars lose their shine
Sunday 22 August 1999
A restaurant in London's Piccadilly followed in 1993 and, as the concept spread around the globe, so the name Planet Hollywood began to look almost appropriate. The appearance of one or all of the celebrity backers at a new restaurant was enough to ensure a successful launch. Wherever the premises, an interior infested with movie memorabilia sustained the illusion that guests were dining with their cinematic heroes.
Robert Earl, Planet Hollywood's British founder, followed the upbeat plot. He expanded the chain relentlessly until it peaked this year with 87 outlets in 36 countries.
Unfortunately, movie tastes have moved on. All-action heroes like Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis have been superseded by the smaller but more beautifully formed talents of Johnny Depp and Leonardo di Caprio. Identifying Demi Moore's last decent film has become a taxing parlour game. Earl's strategy began to look outdated but his attempts to update the concept with a new generation of stars failed. In his defence, the break-up of Willis's marriage to Moore and last year's bomb in his Cape Town branch could hardly have been anticipated.
So it was that Planet Hollywood's foundations proved too shaky to support its globalisation and a company once valued at $2bn (pounds 1.2bn) last week filed for protection from the creditors it owed $250m. No one has felt the loss more keenly than Earl, a Labour Party donor whose initial investment of $50,000 was transformed into an $800m fortune before the rot set in. Now he has the chance to start again thanks to the beneficence of Prince Al Waleed and Ong Beng Seng, who along with Earl will each own a third of the company. The reputations of Hollywood stars may wane, but Earl can console himself that the billion-dollar fortunes of his partners should prove a more reliable foundation.
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Bubonic plague-carrying fleas found on New York City rats
London property boom built on dirty money
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
iJobs Money & Business
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...
£36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...