Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes divorce, Scientology, and Jack Reacher (photo). Tom Cruise has been much in the news lately because of his impeding divorce from Katie Holmes. Much speculation has been bandied about on whether Cruise’s Scientology beliefs negatively impacted his marriage to Holmes – and, for now at least, it’s only that: speculation from those who want to sell magazines, tabloids, and/or get online hits.
Even Rupert Murdoch got in on the Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Divorce media sewage, tweeting the following: “Scientology back in news. Very weird cult, but big, big money involved with Tom Cruise either number two or three in hierarchy. Watch Katie Holmes and Scientology story develop. Something creepy, maybe even evil, about these people.”
News Corp.’s Murdoch, of course, should know a thing or two about “creepy” and “evil.” Check out this News of the World report found in The Guardian.
But more interesting than playing a Who’s Creepier game, or whether or not Tom Cruise was caught “blindsided” by Katie Holmes’ divorce action, or whether or not both the marriage (to diffuse Tom Cruise gay rumors) and the divorce had all been pre-arranged is the following:
Tom Cruise – the ever-youthful star of Risky Business, Top Gun, Cocktail, Days of Thunder, and, heck, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – is now 50. The Born on the Fourth of July star reached the mid-century mark on July 3rd.
There’s nothing like the passing of time, encroaching old age, and awareness of one’s own mortality to put things in perspective. At least a little. At least for some people.
Tom Cruise: Megastar for three decades
Also worth noting is that divorce proceedings, Scientology beliefs, and persistent gay rumors notwithstanding, Tom Cruise has had the longest megastar movie career ever. Not Harrison Ford, not John Wayne, not Mary Pickford, not Doris Day, not Clark Gable, not Charles Chaplin, not Barbra Streisand, not Clint Eastwood, not Julia Roberts, not Will Smith were/have been continuously at – or very near to – the very top for three decades. Tom Cruise has been and remains in that position.
Those who claim Cruise’s movies don’t make money are either ignorant or just downright dishonest. Mission: Impossible IV earned $693.05 million worldwide. Knight and Day‘s worldwide gross was $261.93 million. Valkyrie‘s gross was $200.27 million. Mission: Impossible III, which led to a rift between Cruise and abrasive Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone, went on to collect $397.85 million around the world. Even the Robert Redford-directed political drama Lions for Lambs, a box office bomb in North America, earned more than three times its domestic gross overseas, eventually cuming at a disappointing – though hardly disastrous for a $35 million production – $63.21 million.
Adam Shankman’s $75 million-budgeted Rock of Ages will definitely be a major box office disappointment – an estimated $47.32 million worldwide after 19 days – but that’s hardly a Tom Cruise Movie. In a supporting role as an aging rocker, Cruise, in fact, stole the notices and could well end up with a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination early next year.
That’s what happened with another box office disappointment featuring Tom Cruise: Paul Thomas Anderson’s $37 million-budgeted Magnolia back in 1999. (Worldwide gross: $48.45 million, or about $75.53 million today.) The ensemble drama earned Cruise his third (and to date last) Oscar nod.
Tom Cruise: Jack Reacher
Following Rock of Ages’ box office underperformance and the media frenzy surrounding his impending divorce, Tom Cruise will have a chance to “redeem” himself later this year with the Christopher McQuarrie-directed Jack Reacher. In the action film based on a Lee Child novel, Cruise plays a tough criminal investigator unraveling the mystery behind a seemingly clear-cut case. If the film gets positive notices and good word of mouth, media nastiness or no, Cruise will have another global hit to his credit. He has been in that position before.
Jack Reacher, whose domestic trailer was released on the day Cruise turned 50, will hit US theaters on Dec. 21. Internationally, the film will be rolled out in the ensuing weeks.
Clint Eastwood had hit movies in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and the 2000s. That’s five different decades.
Five different decades, but not five decades. Eastwood’s career went into a slump in the early ’80s and remained there until “Unforgiven” in 1992. Since then, he has had both hits and misses.
Tom Cruise has been a steady, three-decade long megastar at the global box office.
Eastwood, I should add, was never nearly as big overseas as he was in the US. It was only after he became a respected filmmaker that his international following grew. Tom Cruise has always been a global superstar.