LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Fewer people chose to accept Tom Cruise's latest mission, a possible sign that the odd behavior of Hollywood's biggest star may have taken a toll on his box-office charm.
Paramount's "Mission: Impossible III" debuted with $48.025 million, a solid opening, yet well below industry expectations and almost $10 million lower than the franchise's previous installment, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Industry analysts had expected the movie to open in the range of "Mission: Impossible II," which debuted with $57.8 million from Friday to Sunday over Memorial Day weekend in 2000, and Cruise's "War of the Worlds," which premiered with $64.9 million from Friday to Sunday over Fourth of July weekend last year.
Rob Moore, Paramount's head of worldwide marketing and distribution, said he did not believe Cruise's private life had any impact on "Mission: Impossible III," directed by "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams.
"I don't think so. There's no question it concerns us if the press is writing about things other than the movie," Moore said. "If people are writing about his personal life, then by definition, they're not writing about the movie."
Cruise's antics in the past year or so, publicity over his romance with Katie Holmes and the tabloid blitz regarding their daughter's birth in April may have left some movie-goers burned out or disenchanted with the actor.
Traditionally reserved about his private life, Cruise abruptly became an open book, jumping up and down on a couch while professing his love for Holmes in an interview with Oprah Winfrey and spouting his Scientology beliefs, including rants against psychiatry.
$48 Million is nothing to sneeze at, but this guy is clearly costing himself with his ridiculous behavior.