Seth Rogen -- If Gordon-Levitt is looking for an actor-turned-director model to follow, this would be it. Rogen is a man who can play on both sides of the camera, particularly in comedies. After years of being the stoner sidekick in Judd Apatow movies (and a mixed career as a writer, “Pineapple Express” but also “The Green Hornet”), Rogen took his first trip to the director’s chair earlier this year with the apocalyptic meta-comedy “This Is the End.” The movie was of course a huge hit, surpassing $100 million in domestic box office receipts. Unfortunately for Gordon-Levitt, he’s not yet heading in a Rogen-ish direction. “End” opened to $20 million, more than twice the “Don Jon” figure. And though the Rotten Tomatoes score is comparable, “This Is The End” had a CinemaScore that, at B+, was a full grade higher than “Don Jon’s” C+.
Clint Eastwood -- Yeah, Gordon-Levitt isn’t likely to turn into Eastwood any time soon. For the record, though, Eastwood defied the rookie curse and had a pretty strong start -- his psychological thriller “Play Misty For Me” grossed $60 million in today’s dollars when it came out in 1971 and drew solid reviews.
George Clooney -- The man who's become one of the preeminent hyphenates didn’t get off to a great start in 2002, with his ”Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” taking in $22 million in today’s dollars at the domestic box office, and a Rotten Tomatoes score a few points lower than “Don Jon.” Gordon-Levitt, take heart.
Ben Affleck -- A porn-themed comedy doesn’t have much in common with a gritty Boston kidnapping story, as Affleck’s 2007 debut “Gone Baby Gone” was. Still, Gordon-Levitt can similarly take solace in the fact that the man who went on to win a best picture Oscar last year for "Argo" had a similar start at the box office -- Affleck’s first movie grossed $23 million adjusting for inflation, which is right about where “Don Jon” will likely end up. Not exactly in the same ballpark review-wise, though. “Gone” on Rotten Tomatoes notched a remarkable 94%.