Weirdness Finally Costs Tom Cruise Money

Hmm. I’ve wondered when this might happen. It’s been building for a while, since they cut his budget a few months ago. The latest:

Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone said his company’s Paramount Pictures is terminating its 14-year relationship with actor Tom Cruise’s production company, citing the actor’s controversial and sometimes erratic behavior of the past year.

Mr. Cruise, the star of Paramount hits like “Mission: Impossible,” “Top Gun” and “Days of Thunder,” has based his moviemaking company, Cruise/Wagner Productions, on the Paramount lot since 1992. But in the past year, Mr. Cruise’s star has fallen in the wake of a series of public incidents in which he stumped for his faith in the Church of Scientology; severely criticized the use of antidepressant drugs; and engaged in sometimes offbeat behavior, such as jumping up and down on Oprah Winfrey’s couch to proclaim his love for actress Katie Holmes.

Paramount now believes that Mr. Cruise’s behavior hurt the box office of his most recent film, “Mission: Impossible III.” Now, Mr. Redstone said he wants to sever the studio’s connection to its biggest star.

“As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal,” Mr. Redstone said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount.”

Gone Hollywood

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Robert Prather
About Robert Prather
Robert Prather contributed over 80 posts to OTB between October 2005 and July 2013. He previously blogged at the now defunct Insults Unpunished. Follow him on Twitter @RobPrather.


  1. M. Murcek says:

    Ooh… The boss doesn’t like how the employee’s acting, and he fires said employee. Isn’t that automatically actionable these days?

  2. DC Loser says:

    Cruise wasn’t fired. Paramount just didn’t want to pay him additional money for future work.

  3. s.cross says:

    How much of this Scientology stuff were we expected to take? Somewhere along the way Cruise tilted….

  4. Todd S. says:

    They say they fired him because he has been acting like an idiot, which I agree with. But, who in Hollywood isn’t an idiot?

  5. David M says:

    Some advise to Tom Cruise:

    Check yourself, before you wreck yourself!

    In fact Mel Gibson should take this advise also.

  6. Larry says:

    At the end of the day, we are all just employees at will.

  7. Bithead says:

    At the end of the day, this all comes down to money.
    Face it; Had the most recent release of “mission impossible” than less to supporting we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Weird or not we’d see Sumner Redstone with one arm around Tom Cruise, saying what an asset to the team he was.

    To my mind, this incident does two things;

    * it brings up in stark relief the amount of sway that the American consumer actually has on Hollywood. It turns out, that they do have some serious pull in what gets shown and what doesn’t. That of course is based specifically and totally on what sells.

    * Hollywood’s always been a weird little town. A certain level of weirdness is required to get you anywhere in that town. But, at what level of “weird ” to the American people start rejecting Hollywood types?