Cruise Fate A Hollywood Harbinger?

Big name breakups are common in Hollywood. But the split between Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures, a former corporate partner of CBS, is still the talk of the town.

Some movie people think it could affect the balance between stars and studios for years to come.

John Horn, who is covering the story for the Los Angeles Times, told co-anchor Julie Chen on The Early Show Friday: "People are falling into two distinct camps. People who are writing checks are siding with Sumner (Redstone, chairman of Paramount's parent company, Viacom) and people who are cashing checks are siding with Tom Cruise. So, the people who are employing actors think it's good news. People who are agents and actors, themselves, are a little bit worried."

Should they be?

"I think you would have to be a little bit worried," he said. "The real issue is what's called contingent or gross compensation. When an actor makes a movie, they're not just paid an upfront salary. They get a percentage of the film's box office returns.

2"The issue with Paramount was that it was losing money while still paying Tom Cruise big profit checks. In the case of 'Mission: Impossible,' the studio said it made $10 or $15 million on a movie, while Cruise made somewhere between $80 and $90 million because of his contingent or gross compensation.

"Actors, agents have fallen in love with this kind of deal and I think the studios are now pushing back. And I think you can see the studios try to make fewer deals giving such a huge share of profits to their actors before they have broken even."
  • Judy Faber

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