Director Christopher McQuarrie’s Jack Reacher was intended to launch another franchise for Tom Cruise, in addition to Cruise’s Mission Impossible film series. However, box office reports suggest that the film hasn’t done well enough to make a sequel likely. The film has made $153 million worldwide, which is respectable, but far short of what Paramount hoped it would make. Paramount says the film must make 250 million worldwide in order to warrant a follow-up, which means that the movie must do extremely well in the Asian markets, where it has yet to open, since its domestic run is now nearing an end and it is dropping in large international markets such as the UK.
Tom Cruise has long been a big draw in the Asian market, and Jack Reacher will no doubt do well there. Whether it can pull in $100 million or more is yet to be seen. Things may prove rather tough for the film since it opens a week before The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Even if the film should reach its mark, Paramount would still have to negotiate a new deal with Cruise to keep the follow-up’s budget at about the same level as the first film. The chances for a second Cruise Jack Reacher film are becoming increasingly out of reach.
Surprisingly, this may not be bad news to fans of Lee Child’s popular Jack Reacher books, since most were outraged that the pint-sized Cruise was cast as Reacher, despite the character being described in the books as a huge 6-foot 5-inch man mountain.
Could a Jack Reacher sequel do better with a new star, who was more in line with the literary version, and who could be brought in at a lower salary than Cruise? Certainly Cruise is a big star, but his box office clout has been inconsistent lately. In recent years, only Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was a breakout hit, earning $209.4 million. 2012’s musical ensemble comedy Rock of Ages failed to make a big impression on the world. The Mission Impossible series has been Cruise’s bread-and-butter lately and that franchise has served him well, but do filmgoers want to see him in anything else anymore?