The reports of Tom Cruise’s Hollywood death were greatly exaggerated.
The superstar’s erratic behavior a decade-plus ago convinced some Cruise had worn out his welcome with the public.
The actor jumped on a couch in 2005 to celebrate his romance with Katie Holmes, squared off against NBC host Matt Lauer that same year and seemed, to many, as if fame had gotten the better of him.
His Scientology faith didn’t help him in the court of public opinion, either.
Then something ordinary happened. Cruise kept on working, making mostly hits with only a rare misstep (“The Mummy“) slowing him down.
He stopped the wild antics and confrontational shtick and returned to being a Movie Star, first and foremost. He kept his private life private, focused liked the proverbial laser on his craft and stayed out of the political headlines.
And it worked.
He made the “Mission: Impossible” franchise better with every installment and brought audiences back to movie houses this year with “Top Gun: Maverick.”
The new, improved Cruise is feeling thankful for his career resurgence, and he had a spectacular way to show it.
— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) December 18, 2022
The actor, 60, jumped out of a helicopter recently, but not before sending a powerful message to his fans.
‘Hey everyone, here we are over stunning South Africa, where we’re filming Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning parts one and two,’ and I didn’t want the year to end without thanking you all for coming out to the theaters and thank you for supporting Top Gun: Maverick.’
Thank you for supporting Top Gun: Maverick and thank you for allowing us to entertain you – it truly is the honor of a lifetime.’
‘I’m running out of altitude, so I have to get back to work – we have to get this shot – you have a very safe and happy holiday, we’ll see you at the movies.’
The first of the two-part “Mission: Impossible” sequels hits theaters July 14.
Cruise isn’t the only star who occasionally stops to say, “thanks” to his or her fans. Christopher Lloyd of “Back to the Future” and “Taxi” fame uses his Twitter feed to do just that.
The site’s “voice,” Lloyd’s step-son, broke that approach down recently for the actor’s followers.
Christopher loves his fans like family. We will continue to use his social media to show his gratitude & bring light and joy to a world that needs it!
(If you’re gonna build a social media presence, why not do it with some style!)
— Christopher Lloyd (@DocBrownLloyd) December 18, 2022
The recent “Black Adam” release may not be the blockbuster many expected, but star Dwayne Johnson thanked those who supported the film after its release.
“It seems I’m always thanking you guys for something,” the superstar laughed. “But it’s appropriate because I have a lot of s*** to be grateful for,” he said, noting fans made Black Adam the number-one movie in the world for three straight weeks, a feat that only three movies have done this year. “Man, that is hard to do…for one weekend — let alone three weekends.”
Is it any wonder stars like Cruise and Johnson consistently deliver at the box office?
Those outreach efforts didn’t get as much attention as a superstar falling out of a plane, of course, but Cruise’s on-brand stunt comes at a fortuitous time.
The motion picture experience took a beating this year. Yes, movies like “Maverick,” “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” are crushing it at the box office, but many more films are getting ghosted by movie goers.
The recent weekend’s numbers proved “unprecedented,” according to IndieWire. And it could get worse before it gets better.
How many movie stars take the time to thank fans in such a colorful fashion? Cruise’s peers don’t have to leap from working airplanes to show their gratitude.
A few more “thank you” messages, and less hateful screeds, wouldn’t hurt.
And it might help if they stopped dividing the American public and remembered that even Red State audiences helped pave their way to stardom.
Cruise’s sentiment may be as calculated as one of his “M:I” stunt sequences, but it still matters. Wouldn’t it be nice if Hollywood, Inc. made a New Year’s resolution to similarly thank audiences for making their dreams come true?