All Scientologists Look Alike, Right? -- And More in our Weekly Stats Roundup!

TizianoBike.jpg
Is that a famous Scientologist we spy?
Every Thursday at 2 pm, Scientology staff members race to turn in their weekly statistics. We like to do the same by rounding up the week's Scientology news from around the world and weigh how the church is doing.

We're going to start this week with a nice journalistic screwup by X17online.com, a gossipy website that just loves to capture celebrities for candid photos.

And yesterday, they got a big scoop! Tom Cruise on a super-dope motorcycle zipping around Beverly Hills!

Er, um, sorry guys. Wrong dude. After the jump, we show you how X17online fucked up.

Here's an image from X17online.com's big story yesterday:

X17Page.JPG

Look, they even have a close-up of Tom Cruise's face -- it's got to be him!

Well, the guy on the bike is, indeed, a Scientologist -- or at least he was. But truth be told, Tiziano Lugli, a musician from Italy, has been on the outs from the church for a while. (He was declared a suppressive person two years ago.)

He tells us that he was the one zipping around on his Ducati 1098 near Scientology's Hollywood Celebrity Centre ("I like to have the security guards there freak," he says) when he noticed a cameraman.

"I looked around and saw the guy photographing me."

His photo was snapped Tuesday afternoon and showed up on the website yesterday.

Tiziano sent over this photo of himself on the bike. As you can see, he is not, in fact, Tom Cruise...

TizianoBike2.JPG

Well, it should be fun to see if X17online now owns up to its mistake!

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? Let's give the church a little upstat on this one. After all, it did get a little free publicity of Mr. Scientology seemingly zipping around on a bitchin' bike through LA, even if it turned out to be in error. And the church needs a little upstat considering our next item...


Story #2: Debbie Does Damage*

This week, the Scientology world was almost all about Debbie Cook, wherever you looked. Stories about her showed up all over the place -- European newspapers in particular were fascinated with her rebellious e-mail. And we want to thank Huffington Post for the shout-out in the video you see here. And just a few weeks after we exposed a HuffPo blogger as a shill for Scientology!

Ooh, here's another one...

That's "miss-CAV-idj," dear.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? This one is off the charts. It's such a downstat, we really won't know for weeks or months just how much it has hurt Scientology. Keep an eye on Marty Rathbun's blog, because I have a feeling that starting in a few weeks we're going to see a larger than average number of old time church members declaring their independence from Miscavige's fundraising insanity.

Our own stories about Debbie Cook... Sunday: We break the news about her rebellious e-mail. Tuesday: Jason Beghe explains why her e-mail is having such a devastating effect. Wednesday: Debbie Cook's transformation from enforcer to whistleblower.

*I blatantly stole the headline for this item from one of our brilliant commenters.


Story #3: My Old Philly Home

Philadelphia Daily News reporter Jason Nark chose an interesting angle for a story this week: he looked into Scientology leader David Miscavige's South Jersey roots, talking to old neighbors who remembered the Miscavige family.

We learned that young Davey was an asthmatic kid remembered apparently by no one he went to high school with (he dropped out), and what drew him to Scientology was a search by his father for a cure to Davey's wheezing.

This quote from his niece, Jenna Miscavige Hill, is a classic:

"I feel that there is a good possibility that the Miscavige family would be better off if my grandpa had not found Dianetics," she told Nark.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? Nark did an excellent job, in particular with the way he handled a 1985 sex crime charge against Miscavige's father, Ronnie Sr. (it amounted not to a whole lot, essentially). If the purpose here was to give us a better understanding of David Miscavige by examining his background, it succeeded. But despite some criticism of the church leader (which we've heard before), this wasn't really a big upstat or downstat for the church itself -- a sign that it was a balanced piece by a skillful journalist.

Overall, this first week of 2012 has been a major problem for the church, and we are starting to hear about some repercussions of the Debbie Cook e-mail which should yield even more stories a few weeks from now. (Can't say more just yet, but check back often!)


Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications.

tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared


SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE

[All recent stories] | [What is Scientology?] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology]
[Commenters of the Week] | [Thursday 2pm Stats!] | [Scientology vs. South Park]
[This Week Aboard the Apollo] | [Sunday Funnies]

FEATURED INVESTIGATIONS

[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]
[Scientology hates clean ice: The "Fair Game" operation that should turn your stomach]
[Scientology hates clean ice, part 2: Another target, and the web as weapon]
[Paulette Cooper, Scientology's original and worst nightmare: a Thanksgiving tribute]

THE TOP 25 PEOPLE CRIPPLING SCIENTOLOGY

1. L. Ron Hubbard | 2. David Miscavige | 3. Marty Rathbun | 4. Tom Cruise | 5. Joe Childs and Tom Tobin | 6. Anonymous | 7. Mark Bunker | 8. Mike Rinder | 9. Jason Beghe | 10. Lisa McPherson | 11. Nick Xenophon | 12. Tommy Davis | 13. Janet Reitman | 14. Tory Christman | 15. Andreas Heldal-Lund | 16. Marc and Claire Headley | 17. Jefferson Hawkins | 18. Amy Scobee | 19. The Squirrel Busters | 20. Trey Parker and Matt Stone | 21. Kendrick Moxon | 22. Jamie DeWolf | 23. Ken Dandar | 24. Dave Touretzky | 25. Xenu

HELD ABOARD THE FREEWINDS: TALES OF THE SEA ORG

[Valeska Paris, held against her will from 1996 to 2007 on Scientology's cruise ship]
[Ramana Dienes-Browning, marriage at 16, sexual interrogation, life in the engine room]
[Melissa Paris, Valeska's sister: forced to marry at 16]

SCIENTOLOGY VS. SOUTH PARK: INVESTIGATION AS RETALIATION

[Scientology targeted South Park's Parker and Stone in an investigation]
[More documents in the South Park probe: instructions to send in a young mole]
[Scientology responds in typical fashion] | [Lloyd Kaufman confirms the probe]
[Mark Ebner also investigated after South Park involvement]
[Mark Chauppetta, private eye, explains what Scientology operatives look for]

MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS

[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties]
In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview]
The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun's open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun's cause] | [Squirrel Buster's claim to be making a "documentary"] | [VIDEO: "On a Boat"] | ["Anna" sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology's highest levels]

SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND "FAIR GAME"

[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley]
[Scientology's West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology's enemies list: Are you on it?]
Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2]
[A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard's remarkable public confession]
[Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine]
[Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to "handle" the Voice]
[Lori Hodgson and Disconnection: "No one's going to take my eternity away"]

SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES

[Hey, Scientology Celebrity, Here's Your Media Training Checksheet!]
[Tom Cruise and X Factor's Stacy Francis singing together on the Freewinds]
[X Factor's Stacy Francis: Her first husband, Michael Sandlofer, answers abuse claims]
[Tom Cruise and Baby Suri embarrassed by news item, so someone must pay]
["Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | ["Tom Cruise not a kook!"] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise]
[Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church]
[Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his "suppressive person" declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice]
[Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense]
[Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis]
[Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology's retaliation is "scary and pathetic"]
Grant Cardone, NatGeo's "Turnaround King": [Doing Scientology's dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone's smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo]
[Philip Boyd, Saving Grace actor, rips "the business that is Scientology"]

JANET REITMAN'S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY

[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman's first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid]
[Scientology doesn't like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post]
[A roundup of Reitman's print reviews, and why isn't she on television more?]

HUGH URBAN'S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

[A review of Urban's scholarly history of the church] | [An interview with Hugh Urban]

EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT

["The Money Machine": another blockbuster St. Pete Times investigation]
[Marc Headley: "Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman's Story] | [Jeff Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams]
[86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]

OVERSEAS NEWS

[Scientology in Israel: Arson, attempted murder, paranoia -- and a visit by the Voice!]
[Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested]
[All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots]
[Aussie former rugby pro Chris Guider calls David Miscavige "toxic" and "violent"]
[Stephen Cox, UK church newbie, pledges 20K pounds] | [Biggi Reichert: A German Lisa McPherson?] | [The Birmingham trove: 7,000 internal e-mails]
[Australian farmer blamed for giving Tom Cruise a bad shrimp, loses her friends, family]

ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS

[Scientology chillin' with hip hop!] | [The curious career of Scientology rapper Chill EB]
[Chill EB and me: the Voice interviews Scientology's in-house rapper]
[Scientology singalong, "We Stand Tall"] | [Captain Bill Robertson and "Galactic Patrol"]
[Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!]
[Birmingham in the House! The "Ideal" dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam]
[When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers]
[Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.]
[Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York "org"]

THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE

[A scientologist's letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth]
[Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family]
[Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle]
[Desperate Scientology fundraising caught on video]



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95 comments
Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

Hoo boy. I don't think I can stomach it either. I'll let Tony O read it for journalistic purposes and report back to us.

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

I am reminded of "Moose and Squirrel" of classic TV cartoon fame, with Miscarriage as Boris Badenoff, protesting futilely. LOL.

Jgg
Jgg

  btw, where IS Davey?  Why doesn't the media comment on the fact that he hasn't come out and responded to Cook's constructive criticism.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

I posted on the subject of Perez Hilton yesterday. Thanks to including a link, Discus did its usual thang and removed my Pulitzer-Prize* level ruminations, confusing it with an ad for a Russian mail-order bride. But my point [ahem] is that journalistic low-life supreme Perez Hilton picked up the Debbie Cook story. Naturally the bulk of the post consisted of the E-Mail that Cook "Didn't want in the press". It is to laugh.

The point being that the memetic load of Debbie Does Damage™ has spread to Jerry Springer country. Soon, this all will be a vast online video game. The vast legal labyrinth of CO$ can be offered up as various levels in the game, with the arrest of the Minitouar° at the center of the labyrinth being the ultimate goal. Millions can play against the thousands [if that] of "Holders of the Sacred Cans". 

It's a massive online game we're playing here for the hearts and minds of those who might become members of the cult and for those who are still in. And it seems as though this little movement of exposure and derision started by Anonymous is winning.‡ I'll say it one more time—if there is one thing David Miscavige hates, it's being laughed at. Always remember that. You can't fear a man while you're laughing at him.

*more like pullet surprise.°AKA "Slappy Squirrel".‡ With all props due T.O.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Debbie Jean Cook, well no one but no one has ever stated those facts about Scientology to so many scientologists at one time and in such in an acceptable manner. That's one hell of a blow to Miscavige, and the church; I think it's important not to judge her past,nor her 'still drinking the koolade' of scientology because as we can see, she's already beginning to see the fallout for standing tall on what we all know are serious issues all scientologists need to wake up to. Some  say she's angry that the email got out to the media but I have a hard time believing that because she's in marketing business and emailed it enmass.Lets remember that she wrote about missing executives and an exec committee they belonged to that has become nonexistent. She essentially told members they were being ripped off so that Miscavige could continue to keep a billion dollars of IAS donations stashed away. She wrote about the Ideal Org building scam. All that and 12,000 scientologists read it! That's a major Down Stat for the church. And the fact that it hit the press in important cities and it is still being reported about around the world, many referencing Tony Ortega and the Village Voice. *Debbie Does Damage* is so correct!

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Glad to see Tiziano Lugli giving the cult security a scare like that. After all he and his wife have been put through by the church and it's PIs since he left Scientology, I can totally appreciate the fun Tiziano was having that day!  Security probably had the building on lockdown and all the public cleared out so Tom Cruise could 'pop in unannounced', lol. The paparazzi screwing up so that you could then write about it, made my day. I say Down Stat on this one since you've publicly corrected the error here.

Party Dresses
Party Dresses

this is so usefull for the people who are interested in designing.

Tiziano
Tiziano

lol....they actually took one of the pict outside of CC, that's why the whole thing started ;)

The1d
The1d

I think Debbie Cook is still nuts,she still believes in hubbard's nonsense and then claims DM for the problems even though hubbard was just as evil as DM.It's like any member of the  catholic church saying {the pope didn't molest those kids it was the other leaders of the religion but the religion is still true and you should follow it,support it and give your money to it.} Many still do and that is what is so frightening about the human race.My advice,keep your money and keep your sanity.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Every time Scilons call someone a squirrel (giggle) I often wonder which one they're talking about, the red, grey, ground, flying or fox squirrel? If (by their crazy definition) Debbie Cook is indeed a squirrel. It must pain Slappy Squirrel and the OSA Spy Squirrels that Debbie the bushy-tailed Fox Squirrel *outsmarted* them all...Hahaha

Jgg
Jgg

  I have a question--are all those celebrity scientologists Indies or Daveys, or do they know the difference?

Jgg
Jgg

  Too bad it wasn't Cruise--after all, this person is bound to drive by an accident...

Jgg
Jgg

  Debbie does damage?  No, Scientology is cooked.

Mat Pesch
Mat Pesch

I knew right away that it wasn't Tom Cruise.  The bike had no training wheels.

Go Tiziano!!!

Barbara Snow
Barbara Snow

"The Church refers to individuals such as Ms. Cook as a squirrel. A squirrel is someone who alters the Scripture; a heretic," she writes, asking that "you correct this error in your headline and in the text of the article."

Oh come on... a squirrel is a squirrel.  That's what LRH called them and the name has meaning only in the upside down world of Scientology.   I know that the "church" thinks using words like heretic and scripture make it seem like a religion, but the use of such words does not a religion make.  

Hubbard defined a squirrel as follows: "You know what a squirrel is?  A squirrel is somebody — you know, the medical profession since time immemorial and all these various professions have had on their coattails, squirrels.  Every one of them.  There hasn’t been a single branch of human endeavor that doesn’t have its lunatic fringe."   (L. Ron Hubbard, 5 December 1952, Lecture "ARC/Cycles: Theory and Automaticity")

 "A squirrel is somebody who runs round and round and round the cage of his own bank" . (L. Ron Hubbard, 23 November 1956, Lecture: “Farewell Lecture”)

A squirrel is a person — a person who’s going around looking for nuts that are foolish enough to let him process them.  (L. Ron Hubbard, 6 April 1959, Lecture: “Beingness and Communication”)

-- I think their PR people should use those definitions and see how that flies.  Heretic just doesn't sum it up.  These definitions give the public the true flavor of Scientology! 

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

"My Old Philly Home"

Wait Wut???? OMG I should of known... the smart ass gnarly wit in Tony runs so high my philly-boy detector should of pegged the co-opted snarky style long ago. Good grief that explains alot! LOL.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

I see that classy, classy act Perez Hilton jumping on the Debbie Cook Story/Fallout. But of course, developing the meme of DM/Scientology as Voldemort/Slytherin is fun and easy. Getting the massage out to the massive is very important work. Taking out David Miscavige calls out for a Fair Game policy. 

http://perezhilton.com/2012-01...

HermanJ
HermanJ

There is this funny thing about Holland and the Dutch language. For instance, LOL is a Dutch word meaning "fun". MEST (an acronym coined by the Scilons) means "manure" and MISS-cav-idj sounds exactly like "Moscovich", an infamous mafia legal counselor (consiglieri) in Holland.

PattyMoher
PattyMoher

This is more fun that a barrel of OT's. We need a defection pool, where viewers can guess the next big Scio to leave and the date when they'll announce it. 

I'm voting for Pat Broeker by June 1, 2012-- wouldn't that be fun!

Scientia
Scientia

Perez is pals with Juliette Lewis and Kirstie Alley, no? Interesting. I long for the day JL walks away. I always took her for a bad ass rebel, not a kool-aid drinking DMbot. Fingers crossed for 2012.

Skwerl King
Skwerl King

I for one will give Debbie the benefit of the doubt. She's had a heapin'-helpin' of that old Flavor Aid they've been serving up, but her rise and maintenance of power may reveal a sadistic streak when the brainwash wears off - if it does in her case. I have a theory about long-term though processes and neurological pathways... if only I could get a brain tissue sample. I digress, back to the lab...

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

I highly doubt they understand the real difference. I'm sure they are all Daveys - that's Davey's thing, mingling with the stars, that's what makes him feel like a big man. For him to allow a celeb to leave his fold and go hang with the Mike & Marty show would be unthinkable! As for the celebs, they are so protected from entheta that I doubt they have any real concept of what the Indies are. I'm sure they know they exist, but Davey would do double duty, I'm quite confident, to vilify and demonize them so they wouldn't have a chance to learn anything more about them.

I'm sure Jason Beghe could give us plenty of insight about this. I understand he spent some time working with Marty after he blew. I'd love to hear how Davey explains Indies to the celebs.

Kim O'Brien
Kim O'Brien

THAT was an awesome comment !!! hahahahahaha

Sid
Sid

Amazing isn't it, "the most dedicated Scientologist" David Miscavige has ever met can't be bothered to ever speak about it.

Could it possibly be that making movies and earning lots of money and being feted as a movie star was actually more important to Tom than anything else after all?

Jgg
Jgg

  Plus he's too tall.

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

Um, Earth to CofS. I'm from LA, not Philly. That headline was in reference to Miscavige, not me.

MarieS
MarieS

Is Pat Broeker even still alive? 

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Tom Cruise will never leave.  He's too entrenched and possibly a participant in some crimes himself.  We all know he's got an inurement issue, at the least.

Every day that the DoJ, FBI, and IRS do nothing to stop this cult makes them responsible for its crimes.  WHY SO SILENT, IRS?  They aren't as litigious as they used to be....

Sam
Sam

John Travolta - I reckon he's been on the edge for a while.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

I worked with Juliette Lewis on the movie Kalifornia when she was 18 (and dating Brad Pitt) and I was 22.  She was a very smart, very cool girl, but even at 18 she seemed like a searcher -- looking for that thing to fulfill her, ya know?  I think she also has some family history within the Co$ and went through some issues with drug abuse, so I'm guessing that she got the Co$ celebrity handling to bring her closer into the fold.  It's too bad, because she does have that rebel, kickass thing going on.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

You're missing a mighty nice winter in LA, Tony.  This is the only (and I mean only) time we can be smug about being in Southern CA.  

We sort of spawned (or fostered) the cult's growth out here so we have a lot of making up otherwise.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

Yeah yeah, rub it in. It was early, and I lacked coffee.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

I agree, I don't think Tom Cruise will leave either, he's second in command. Tom will never disconnect from his boyfriend David Miscavige, their "special relationship" binds them together like hot glue. =-O

<snip article="" from="">Andre Tabayoyon's sworn declaration alleges that all the millions of dollars spent by Miscavige and his cronies on the luxuries provided for Tom and other celebrity members was used illegally because the cash all came from fundraising on behalf of the so-called church - and that is against US law.

Ha! Tom and David have one billion reasons not to leave each other.</snip>

Sid
Sid

I actually think it could be Tom Cruise.

I saw him on a chat-show the other day, and I just felt I could sense some unease about him - he wasn't his usual super-confident self, he seemed wary and on his guard - not at all relaxed.

I wonder if he realizes that a large chunk of viewers are wondering about his relationship with his best friend forever.

John P.
John P.

I'm guessing that the only reason Travolta hasn't blown is that his wife is still committed and she'd be ordered to disconnect from him.  Any perspective from knowledgeable former Scientologists with experience in the Celebrity Center world?  

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

And I'm the reverse - having grown up in Connecticut, I'm THRILLED to be out here in SoCal for a winter in which we can sail, scuba-dive, ride our bikes, or hop in the car for a couple hours and go skiing. Winter coat? What's that? :)  (Although I will admit that NYC is magical at Christmastime...)

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

Winter is my favorite time in NYC, actually. Having grown up with no seasons, I love getting them now!

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

Awww shuckz, i was hoping for a spanking instead.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

That's not the answer we were looking for. Hope you like rice and beans.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

"They can make me do anything, can't they? Anything."

A good therapist would of made him realize it was all his Mother's fault. A good auditor would of convinced him he needed several intensive to go OT.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

We have just a few more questions for you. Here's some asparagus cans. Now look at this card and tell me what you think about Raymond Shaw . . .

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

I believe i meant to just keep my mouth shut. and failed miserably :)

Barbara Snow
Barbara Snow

So did you mean to say 

"My Old Philly Home"Wait Wut???? OMG I should of known... the smart ass gnarly wit in Davey runs so high my philly-boy detector should of pegged the co-opted snarky style long ago. Good grief that explains alot! LOL. 

Schockenawd
Schockenawd

On the other hand, what if TC ... became the new COB!  Think of it!  He could thank DM for his years of tireless service and then shove him into RPF for effing everything up.  Then Tom could go on to put his own stamp on Scientology, making it bigger than ever, bigger than the whole universe and all the thetans that inhabit it!  He could get the best SUV ever, even better than the ones the slaves have already made for him.  He could let Katie wear a tiara and make Will Smith and David Beckham his own Marty and Mike... and we could all stand by with our popcorn, waiting for the hilarious hijinks that would ensue!

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

JP...

Your write up sounds good but it is just not "the goods" on this.

Ticket prices significantly rise during the holidays and passes and matinee prices are suspended.

And your data on Producers/ Talent / Studio's reflects the relationship for 'Indie' films and not so called major Hollywood productions... 

Especially not Cruise... who for a very long time had First Look, First Dollar, Up Front, and Back End deals.... which eventually got him released from Paramount.

And of course his pick of the years 'Release' windows .... which xmas/new years is still a prime run...

The Pacific Rim and India are without doubt the most intently pursued markets with the largest markets outside the US.... and growing.

They LOVE the Cruise machine.... maybe in part because of height...

His take on War of Worlds was around 300M.

I've got about 40 years in the Industry... how about you?

Note: I personally have no 'bones' with Cruise.. Spielberg said it best when appraising his star quality.... "his presence on the screen is 'magnetic' .... you just can't take your eyes off him"...

Which I agree with... but that is a phenomena of filmmaking and not necessarily speaking to the full magnitude of an acting talent.. which again he is not without talent... but on the whole, I personally find little redeeming value in most of the films he has appeared in...

And as far as Scientology.... the day of Atonement will eventually arrive.

John P.
John P.

What planet are you from?  

TC took scale up front for points on the back end, and will probably make more than the $20-$25 million he would have gotten as a flat fee.  Producers increasingly want to pay in points rather than up front for mega stars because it distributes the risk around; the star has a bigger stake in the ultimate success of the picture.  On my home planet (Earth), ticket prices haven't changed in a while.  I would see exactly zero movies if ticket prices went from $13 to $26 just because it was the holiday.  Movie tickets are somewhat price sensitive; if ticket prices rise, people spend more time researching movie reviews before they go instead of just blindly going to the next flick starring somebody they like, so as ticket prices rise, consumers become more cautious, resulting in flat to down total box office.  

Doubtful that the studios would have released overseas first to avoid bad publicity from TC's relationship with Scientology -- they went to places that were involved in filming to try and build international gross faster, which means they make their money back faster.  That's a much bigger issue than what they view as a potential PR problem that they have to manage.  Lots of films open in London a couple weeks before they open in the US, BTW.  

Note that I am hardly a TC fan or Scientologist, just trying to point out that your comments are based on some questionable info.  

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

Yeah, after being so boldly vocal about Scientology not all that long ago, lately he seems to have totally clammed up about it. (pun intended!) With all of the press going on for his new MI movie, he's splashed all over the airwaves but nary a peep about his beloved "church". When's the last time Tom was photographed with his BFF? When's the last time anyone saw him at a Scientology event? Is he still active, getting audited, climbing his bridge? Anyone have any insight into that?

His defection would, in my opinion, be the ultimate death-knell for the church. But for him it could be a massive boon to his career! Think of all the free publicity! So many people think of him as a bit nutty...to see him finally come to enlightenment and blow, and then talk about it and explain how he got sucked in and what a major fraud it is...he'd be THE most famous guy on earth for a while. I would LOVE to see that!

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

TC likely had to sign a shitload of legal docs with the studio to get MI4 made.

and he in no way got the deal terms he became accustomed to.

The studio was super attentive in the way they handled this latest franchise production...

Note the Box Office numbers... the Studio was desperate to control the appearance that "TC is Back!" .... and have been overly eager to "Push" headlines on the box office numbers... but those numbers are not really a true indicator that people have forgotten or are willing to  accept TC back as Action Movie Star Number One.

The numbers are less than what is being publicized because...

Theatres have increased holiday ticket prices by 50 to 100 percent going into xmas and thru new years day... those dollars are not shared with the studio in all cases... and do not accurately portray a return to the 'good old days'...

and the big thing is that it distorts the Actual Number of People Buying Tickets....

MI4 opened overseas FIRST because they wanted to "Dodge" any PR flack regarding Scientology .... Japan, Korea etc ... is still open turf where there is not widespread first hand experience with the COS.

And note that life long production partner Paula Wagner did not return for this production.(which she had everything to do with it's creation as a franchise).

Did Scientology break up another longer term Cruise relationship?

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

And let's not forget, they have a new baby. That's not something to take lightly when considering the horrific disconnection policies of the cult.

John P.
John P.

I'm thinking particularly of the economics of a divorce -- they've been married a long time and may not have prenups, etc.  Mel Gibson's recent divorce settlement comes to mind as an indicator of how expensive a divorce from a long-term Hollywood marriage might be. Not thinking in terms of anything leaked from Travolta's PC folder or other dirty tricks.  

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