“Redstone may have been basing some of his reaction on the fact that negative public perception of Cruise has soared in the past six months in the closely watched Q Scores, which rate celebrity popularity. They indicate that negative perception of Cruise jumped nearly 100 percent since mid-2005, while positive perception fell about 40 percent.
“He’s definitely at his low point in terms of consumer appeal, among both males and females,” said Henry Schafer, executive vice president of Marketing Evaluations Inc., the Q Scores company.”
Yes folks, the handwriting is on the wall.
And now for the spin —
“Paramount made a firm offer for a new term of years,” said his attorney Bertram Fields.
That offer was for far less than what Cruise/Wagner had been receiving to pay for overhead and development costs, Fields confirmed.
But he said Cruise had told Paramount he was more interested in starring in films going forward rather than producing them and needed less money to renew.
Fields said he and other advisors recommended Cruise and his partner, Paula Wagner, reject the offer because of a change in attitude among Paramount executives toward the pair.
“I felt there was an atmosphere of hostility and this was a place he would never get a fair shake,” Fields said. “I think he was about to communicate that position and Paramount found out about it, panicked and decided to get out before he did.”
Paramount “panicked”? Call Dr. Phil.
“One would have to believe he will remain luminous in the near term,” said Guber, chairman of Mandalay Entertainment Group and host of AMC’s “Sunday Morning Shoot-out.”
“He didn’t go out and kill somebody. He didn’t drive drunk. He didn’t beat up his wife,” Guber said.
Oh give him a chance, Peter.
“I think he will remain a top star in the business and command a great deal of attention and bring in a great deal of revenue.”
The public is notoriously fickle when it comes to movie stars, although Cruise has sustained broad popularity longer than most.
And Cruise does not face the same kind of challenge confronting Mel Gibson, who spouted anti-Semitic remarks after being stopped for drunk driving.
“It’s probably going to take more time to get back to where he was in consumer popularity,” Schafer said of Cruise. “If he comes out in the next year or so with a big hit movie, that will help.”
Hey, Pirates are hot. How about a Pirate movie?
Yes friends, payback’s a bitch.