It is amazing to see just how far Tom Cruise has fallen in recent times. In the past, he had his divorce from Nicole Kidman in the papers, but that never seemed quite as intense and destructive to his career. Since the media tour for War of the Worlds, everything has seemingly gone downhill. He went crazy talking about Scientology, which led to a very public argument with Brooke Shields and a now-famous soundclip of him calling Matt Lauer "glib." Then, he seemingly lost his mind with the whole Katie Holmes relationship, subsequent pregnancy, and now the big wait to see if this baby exists.
I don't really care all that much about this story. I think Scientology is kind of funny. I thought the "glib" comment was kind of funny. I couldn't possibly care less about the Tom Cruise baby thing. The business side of things, on the other hand, is quite interesting to me.
Viacom chairman, Sumner Redstone, had this to say:
"It's nothing to do with his acting ability, he's a terrific actor," said Mr. Redstone. "But we don't think that someone who effectuates creative suicide and costs the company revenue should be on the lot." […]
"As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal," Mr. Redstone said. "His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount."
Basically, what Redstone seems to be saying is that Cruise has lost his heat as a box office draw, and it is largely his own fault for getting himself into precarious public situations. Now I know War of the Worlds wasn't the highest grossing movie ever, but the IMDB has it making just under $234 million at the box office on a budget of around $132 million. I believe those budget numbers don't include marketing and advertising totals, but even if you add $100 million to the budget for marketing and advertising, the movie would have had to have been profitable with international receipts as well as cable and DVD.
And did you see the movie? The effects were great. The story was "eh". I wonder what kind of profit they were expecting? Do you really think a less volatile Tom Cruise makes a movie make more money?
Mission Impossible 3 did worse than War of the Worlds, but it wasn't a complete bomb. The estimated budget for MI3 was estimated at $150 million and, to date, it has grossed just under $134 million domestically. I know they were expecting big things from it, movie, but it probably will at least break even, right?
While the studio expects serious profitability from its relationships with supposed superstars, there has to be something else going on. These last two movies wouldn't seem to be enough to sever ties with a guy with a track record like Cruise's. This leads me to believe there might be some other stuff going on. Do you think maybe Cruise is difficult to work with? Or is it really this quick and easy for the studio to decide Cruise isn't worth the trouble?
Regardless, I think I have the best idea for Cruise's career. I hope the slide continues for a couple of more years and then we get a blockbuster Tom Cruise movie from Quentin Tarantino as a vehicle to revive Cruise's career.Powered by Sidelines