The west coast’s latest news is the break-even box office of Mission Impossible III, and how it has broken Tom Cruise's ties to Paramount. According to various (read reliable) reports, even though MI III made about 400 million dollars, the movie was a box office failure. Why? Because by the time Tom was paid and the cost of production subtracted, the studio made almost no money on the film. It would have had to gross in the $900 million to one billion dollar range to be considered profitable, i.e., successful. As I sat watching the news, the statement by one reporter of "weirdness abuse" caught my attention.
That reporter's meltdown reference is to Cruise's well-known Oprah couch-jumping incident. But it's likely such behavior is now having its effect on his career and may have single-handedly propelled his career into deceleration. Then there was the Brooke Shields admonition incident, in which Shields' use of anti-depressive medication to recover from an episode of post-partum depression was called “irresponsible” by Cruise because she did not know enough about the long-term effects of those medicines. Do doctors even know this information? Why the high tone? This is what has everyone wondering, and calling him a victim, not of his success, but of Scientology.
I know a little about cults and religions after having been a part of many in the past. My view agrees with the dictionary definition: If there is a charismatic figure involved, people following his or her lead unquestionably, giving away fortunes, cutting off friends and family, then the organization in question might be a cult. Even the Catholic Church has been so called by many cult-watchers. This would then paint both Tom and Mel with the same brush.
People as young as Cruise and Katie Holmes do not want to start moving backward on the career fast track, especially in Hollywood, where the old-age countdown begins at 21. This sudden reversal of fortune is unusual in that, as one reporter noted, "this is usually done behind closed doors!" The public is rarely privy to these decisions. But then Mel Gibson was also skewered when he maligned the entire Malibu police department with racial and anti-Semitic slurs. Did one Christian and one Scientologist raise Jewish and Hollywood scorn to new levels of outrage? It seems so. I just wanted to stand back out of the way as Gibson was written off as someone no one will work with because of his most recent comments.
While Tom is not guilty of such anti-Semitic sins and political incorrectness, he is guilty of the greatest sin in Hollywood: not making money and appearing non-bankable in the eyes of the Bible belt and other places where people would rather not know what Tom does behind church doors. Not since Ayn Rand has there been so much sin spilt over the Hollywood Hills… look out below!Powered by Sidelines