Friday, April 12, 2024

Tom Cruise: Talking Teddy Bear and Male Strippers Make More at Box Office in One Week


Just reading the New York Times take on Tom Cruise’s career. They’re missing the point. Cruise last had a non tentpole, non franchise hit in 2004 with “Collateral.” If you separate out the last two “Mission Impossible” movies and “War of the Worlds” (a Steven Spielberg movie, thanks), Cruise has not been a big ticket seller in the last eight years. In domestic ticket sales, Cruise failed to get near $100 million with “Valkyrie” ($83 million), “Knight & Day ($76.4 million) and “Lions for Lambs” ($15 million). “Rock of Ages” is a stiff.

This past weekend both “Ted,” a movie about a talking teddy bear, and “Magic Mike,” about male strippers, made significantly more respectively–$54 million and $39 million– than “Rock of Ages” has in three weeks–just $35 million.

In December Cruise launches a new movie that he hopes will become a continuing franchise, called “Jack Reacher.” But that may be a ‘reach’– in order to market and explain an entirely new character and franchise, Cruise is going to have do a lot of press. That means magazine and newspaper interviews, etc–all the stuff required to sell a Christmas movie. Just doing it in Europe, or running along lines of autograph hounds, will not suffice.  So this is going to get interesting, because questions are going to come up.

Irony: Paramount’s Sumner Redstone “fired” Tom, then took him back for “MI4.” Now it’s Paramount that will have to deal with Tom’s latest mess.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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