Tom Cruise had a bad Friday, the third day of release for “Knight and Day.” The film made $6.35 million, versus over $14.5 million for Adam Ssndler’s “Grown Ups.” The former film took three days to make a little less than what the latter did in one night.
Cruise was never a huge box office draw on his own. His biggest hits, “The Firm,” “Rain Man,” and “A Few Good Men,” were ensemble pieces with talented supporting casts and well thought out, well executed scripts.
Films like “Vanilla Sky” and “The Last Samurai” were not good, and not blockbusters. They averaged $100 million domestically, but cost a lot, too.
Cruise’s big films were always the franchise entries: the Mission Impossible series, the Bruckheimer films.”Eyes Wide Shut” was a financial disaster. Steven Spielberg batted .500 with him–“Minority Report” did about $135, “War of the Worlds” about $235 million.
In his long resume, only “Jerry Maguire” stands out as an artistic and commercial achievement with $152 million and a Cruise Oscar nom. It’s Cruise’s best film, hands down. His other Best Actor Oscar nomination was for “Born on the Fourth of July.” It brought in only took in $79 mil.
“Knight and Day” may crawl out of the weekend with around $22 million for five days. That number pays Cruise’s salary. This is a $100 million film, so this daunting result is considered trouble. Will it make Paramount reconsider “Mission: Impossible 4”? I don’t think so. But for that project to work, the movie cannot be a star vehicle. Paramount should revert to the real “MI” premise of a team working together. Get a great cast of newer actors and one hot old timer, and surround Tom so that the film is not dependent on him. Otherwise, the mission may very well be impossible.