It would appear Cruise is safe for the moment. According to The Hollywood Reporter, there's no doubt there will be a Mission: Impossible 4 and Paramount executives pinky-swear that Cruise will star in it. But doubt remains. The studio is watching the foreign box office for Knight and Day very closely. If the film makes $200 million or more, their fears of Cruise's connection will vanish. If not, a big question mark hovers over the franchise. Studio insiders note that the popularity of Mission: Impossible has little to do with Cruise, and was never intended to be his personal brand. Another source notes the budget given to M:I4 is more consistent with "a first film" than a highly anticipated sequel, which hints they could be thinking of rebooting the entire thing with a new agent.
Meanwhile, Cruise is currently pursuing other roles while he waits Paramount out. Meanwhile, there's a lot of finger-pointing as to why Knight and Day didn't do particularly well. Cruise's representatives fired back at the idea that it had anything to do with their eternally grinning star -- especially since Valkyrie did all right -- and insisted it had everything to do with Fox's micromanaging Tom Rothman. Well, we've heard that before on a number of films, haven't we?
Have audiences cooled on Cruise? Does the Mission: Impossible series depend on his super serious Hunt, or should Paramount cut and run with the franchise?