Along with opening presents and spending time with family this Christmas Day, one thing I will do is see Tom Cruise‘s lastest movie, Valkyrie. Christmas Day is one of the biggest movie days of the year, with half a dozen films opening tomorrow. Valkyrie’s subject matter interests me – it is the story of an internal plot to assasinate Hitler – but I’m also rooting for the film for other reasons.
Tom Cruise has gotten much more than his fair share of bad press recently, and the film’s producer (MGM Grand via the United Artist label) is in real need a commercial succes. So studio and star are working mightily to market the film, with the studio laying a good deal out of cash in an aggressive adversting pitch and Tom Cruise doing his level best to woo fans in a blitzkrieg of promotional appearances. Every American likes to see a hard working underdog overcome the odds, right?
The movie faces hurdles in achieving big day, however. For one, there is stiff competition with which to contend. Second, it is after all a movie about Nazis on Christmas Day. Finally, as Business Week reported one industry insider saying, “It’s awfully hard to sell this as a thriller when you know the ending.” Add those factors to the bad buzz surrounding Cruise and the studio’s marketing gamble, and it will be something to write about if Valkyrie does well.
On Christmas Day, I’ll be doing my part!
Post Script: With the fantastically troubled cast of characters that comprise today’s Hollywood, it seems arbitrary and capricious to demonize Cruise for the pecularities of his religion, Scientology, and some behavioral quirks. That’s a topic for a whole other post.