Friday, June 15, 2007

Tom Cruise still a Power Player

Tom Cruise is #8 on the "Forbes Most Powerful" list!

Last year he moved from being an actor to being an actor and director of a movie studio: United Artists.

United Artists was founded in 1919 by movie greats Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith. It has produced some of the biggest and best known movie franchises such as "Rocky," "Pink Panther" and "James Bond" as well as highly acclaimed films such as "West Side Story" and "Midnight Cowboy."

Last year, after Viacom chief, Sumner Redstone, refused to negotiate a new contract with the Cruise/Wagner production company because of the revenue loss to large pharmaceutical companies who advertise on Viacom's many subsidiaries (CBS, MTV, etc.) when Cruise, on prime-time TV, exposed the harm their drugs cause, Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner formed a partnership with MGM to run their own studio. The big loser in all this was poor old Paramount Pictures which (according to estimates in Daily Variety) made 1/3 of its income from Tom Cruise movies.

The UA deal is a great boost for Cruise and will bring life back to a studio with an auspicious past that had been put into mothballs in recent years. Soon we will again see the UA logo on Hollywood Blockbusters.

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