Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

April 24, 2013

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Kim Hollis: What do you believe is the current state of Tom Cruise's career? How many more years do you think he has as a leading man?

Jay Barney: This is a very interesting question, and I am solidly on the side of the spectrum that believes there are plenty of more projects in Cruise's career. I should state for the record that I find the Scientology beliefs a bit creepy, but that should not take anything away from the guy's acting accomplishments. You can't have this discussion without comparing him to the other actors of his generation, and how many other acting careers even come close to his? Tom Hanks is probably bigger, Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson... how many others? Even if you come up with three or four more other names, my point is clear. Cruise is still a leading actor, he is only 50-years-old, and he is one of the highest paid actors in the business.

Sure he is nearly three decades removed from Top Gun, two decades removed from A Few Good Men and Jerry Maguire, and a decade removed from Minority Report and War of the Worlds, but doesn't his resume prove this actor's credibility? Each of the films listed above was either one of the biggest films of the year released, or earned Cruise considerable attention because of the characters he played. And this list doesn't even include The Firm, Born on the 4th of July, or Rain Man.


Just two and a half years ago, audiences embraced the fourth in the Mission Impossible series, making it one of the most beloved recent action films in years. That project brought in some serious coin, too. Made for $145 million, it made over $600 million worldwide.

Oblivion may not be on his "A" list, but usually, over time, everything reverts back to the mean. If you were to take the average Cruise film, it would still be pretty good.

My guess is the guy still has a couple of mega hits left in him.

Felix Quinonez: I think that Tom Cruise definitely still has potential to be a leading man for a few years but because his star has faded within the last decade I think he is at a point where he has to be more careful about the projects he takes. I think the days when his name alone could sell a movie are gone. Yes, MI4 was huge but Rock of Ages flopped and Jack Reacher only did OK. I think Oblivion is a pretty safe vehicle as far as box office goes and he could safely keep going with movies like this for a few years to diminishing returns. But no matter how much money your movies made in the past eventually studios will ask "what have you done for me lately?" And if your movie can convincingly described as both a hit and a disappointment you are not doing a great job as a leading man.

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