Friday, November 03, 2006

Tom Cruise Moves Production Company From Paramount To MGM; Calls It United Artists To Save Face And World Is Amazed

Much overreaction to Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner moving their shingle from Paramount (where they were pushed out) to the comfort of MGM. That studio had the basically dead name of United Artists and wondered what they could do with it. Cruise was looking for some positive news to put a brave face on an embarrassing situation. Voila! Cruise is heading a new "studio." Actually, if this means Cruise will bring his movies to MGM under any name it will be good news for them. His box office appeal is far from over. But since they will be doing four movies a year and have greenlight power for budgets at a reported $50 mil or less (which is very modest mid-range these days), you can not really call it a studio -- just a glorified shingle. Plus, looking at the movies he and Paula Wagner have done over the years does not really inspire confidence. Except for "The Others" with Nicole Kidman, there is no non-Cruise success story: Without Limits, Vanilla Sky, Narc, Elizabethtown, Ask The Dust. Actually, there is one: the critically acclaimed "Shattered Glass." But again, being in business with Tom Cruise is good news for MGM assuming he stars in films for them. But four flicks a year from a duo that has had almost no success with non-Cruise movies is no reason to pretend it is the second coming.

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