Tom Cruise has a figure in his mind, and that figure is $200 million. That's not his fee for a new movie, but how much his current release Knight and Day reportedly has to take in overseas in order for the actor to remain the star of the next Mission: Impossible movie.
We've previously reported that the success - or lack thereof - of Knight could make Cruise's involvement in the next M:I movie shaky, but now the Hollywood Reporter has put a price on his head:
If that film should gross less than $200 million overseas, some industry observers think Paramount will consider recasting the Ethan Hunt role. At this point, it's too early to say how the film will do, though Fox executives are predicting a solid performance... The film's release was delayed in many countries until after the World Cup. It will open in key markets this weekend, including Australia, Brazil and Spain. It already has opened solidly but not spectacularly in China, pulling in $4.8 million on 1,158 screens in its first weekend, and in India. Given its cost and hype, "Knight" is not at this point setting the overseas boxoffice on fire, but key openings in the larger European markets and in Japan are still ahead.
In the US, the film has underperformed based on expectations.
As the Reporter's anonymous executives point out, there isn't necessarily a large downside for recasting Cruise; as one says, "Mission: Impossible is a brand... It didn't have anything to do with Tom Cruise in the beginning." Cruise may have a relationship with M:I4 director JJ Abrams, but so does Paramount, who released his Star Trek last year, and it's arguable that Abrams, and not Cruise, would be the real draw for this next installment. And so, perhaps the question should be, what does Paramount have to lose by letting a new agent accept this particular Mission?