Space Ramblings

The Redemption of Tom Cruise?

The official word is that Tom Cruise has saved Christmas for Hollywood. That’s even sorta true, but only because MI4 was the only movie launched that didn’t hopelessly underperform the way a bunch of other movies did. But MI4 isn’t much of a hit, its opening box office was at or below MI3 levels. And MI3 was already below earlier installments and MI4 made a chunk of its money from IMAX and its inflated ticket prices.

If MI4 ends up making more money than MI3 it will only be because there’s no serious competition and that makes it the default choice for people who want to sell out some money and sit in front of a flickering screen without having to talk too much for 90 minutes. But it won’t be because MI4 is a good movie or because Cruise has regained his appeal.

Paramount’s scheduling bet for MI4 paid off when the other studios tanked. If there’s no recovery then MI4 will probably make more money than MI3, which opened in May. Does that testify to a resurrection of Cruise’s appeal? He probably kept his appeal overseas, but Americans didn’t go to see MI4 for Cruise, they went for the same reason that they went to see the earlier MI movies or the Transformer movies. Because a lot of stuff explodes on screen.

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