Tom Cruise can only look at the box office results for “Knight and Day” and shudder.
The film will cross the $70 million mark this week. But it’s unlikely it will get to $75 million domestically. It’s his worst performance at the box office since “Far and Away” in 1992.
Even “Valkyrie” did better, with a total of $83 million. It would be hard to imagine “Knight and Day” ever getting close to that number.
Internationally, “K&D” has done better of course. Where English has not been a first language, audiences haven’t minded the travelogue vanity caper. The film has yet to open in the U.K., Spain, France or Italy. Cruise may get some action there. So far the box office abroad has come to just over $60 million.
But just think: “Inception” has made in four days what it’s taken “K&D” almost a month to rake in.
The only movie with which Cruise has been associated recently that’s done worse was “Lions for Lambs,” but that was a film that also featured Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in a kind of weird experiment.
Paramount will hope that “Mission Impossible 4” will be its own draw, and that Cruise’s negative factors will be outweighed by the series’ built in appeal. The odds are “MI4” will feature Cruise surrounded by a team of spies including some new hot actors. Did I hear Taylor Lautner? Also, in this age of vampire-mania, they could resurrect Cruise’s character from “Interview with the Vampire” as his doppleganger. Just some ideas!
But Cruise may have to face the fact that his big run of $100 million films is over. It was good while it lasted. But box office, unlike diamonds, is not forever. Just ask Sylvester Stallone and a handful of stars who made it big in the 1980s. Cruise would be well advised to concentrate on character roles like the one he played in “Tropic Thunder.”