Seriously, people. Have you heard about this? Paramount has just up and decided not to renew their contract with Tom Cruise, or rather his production company Cruise/Wagner (C/W), on the grounds that Tom's personal conduct is...unbecoming? Unacceptable. Something like that. Actually, the man who makes such decisions (Sumner Redstone of Viacom) said Tom "effectuates creative suicide and costs the company revenue," and thus should not be "on the lot."
Currently the celebrity gossip columns are making much of Cruise's unfavorable ratings with the public (what, he's the president now, that he gets his own approval rating?), and everyone seems to be blaming his couch-jumping, anti-depressant-hating, Scientology-spewing conduct for the relative failure of Mission Impossible 3 ($398 million worldwide, when they were all expecting half a billion dollars), which in turn is viewed, by the columnists, as the reason for Paramount's latest decision. But a simple search pulls up an article in Variety, dated July 10 of this year, which reveals this interesting factoid:
Although the company has provided Par[amount] with some heavy hitters at the box office -- "War of the Worlds" and May's "Mission: Impossible III" -- it has also delivered a string of recent disappointments like "Suspect Zero," "Elizabethtown" and "Ask the Dust."
The article goes on to say that "Cruise's deals are notoriously rich and hard to make," and points out that chairman Brad Grey's first priority, when he took over Paramount in 2005, was to reduce the budget for MI3.
So you see, folks, it's not just that Tom Cruise is a stark raving wacko. It's that he's a wacko who produces crappy movies that don't sell at all and expensive movies that don't quite sell enough to make up the difference.
Although, really, I have to admit the wacko factor is what kept me from going out to watch MI3.