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.