I love this quote from Mary Astor. I think it still applies to the entertainment industry.
"There are five stages in the life of an actor: Who's Mary Astor? Get me Mary Astor. Get me a Mary Astor Type. Get me a young Mary Astor. Who's Mary Astor?"
Let's put it in context.
There are five stages in the life of an actor: Who's Tom Cruise? Get me Tom Cruise. Get me a Tom Cruise Type. Get me a young Tom Cruise. Who's Tom Cruise?
I think if Tom Cruise had not had his career sidelined by his antics and his high profile promotion of $cientology he might be well into stage three of the above and heading into stage four, except I get the impression that Hollywood by and large doesn't want Tom Cruise or a Tom Cruise type or a young Tom Cruise.
I think there's a Tom Cruise differential at play with movies that he is in. I boycott his movies. I know some people who aren't $cientology critics, aren't actively opposed to $cientology and aren't former $cientologists who boycott Tom Cruise's movies. I think that trend is wide spread and it isn't going away no matter how many smiling pictures of him show up or how many awards and citations he manages to get. The Tom Cruise differential is the difference between what a movie would make without him compared to what it makes with him in it. I think in his case now that differential is negative. To put it another way I think that with Tom Cruise in a movie it takes in less money than it would have taken in if he wasn't in it.
Rock of Ages opens this week. I checked the times for it at the local theaters. They are running that movie four times a day on Saturday and Sunday. Movies that are two and three weeks old have more time slots. The theater chain is expecting that movie not to do well. Its rating with Rotten Tomatoes is 42% with 62% of the audience liking it.
Its budget, according to Box Office Mojo, was $75 million. The mental image pictures (MIPs) (another $cientology term) that the public still carries with regard to Tom Cruise still includes ones like this.
As long as Tom Cruise remains involved with $cientology the negative effects of that association will not go away. We'll have another look at the numbers come Monday and see how the movie did over the weekend.