A Tale of Two Toms

Tom vs. Tom Is any publicity really good publicity? We’ll soon find out.

Next month two of Hollywood’s biggest stars will both be hitting the big screens within a couple of weeks of each other, making the opening of blockbuster season.

Tom Cruise fires the first volley with Mission: Impossible III, his first film since last year’s War of the Worlds. Of course, he hasn’t been exactly out the public eye. Couch vaulting, capturing and impregnating Katie Holmes and expounding on his sci-fi based Scientology cult, it’s been hard to avoid him. So much so that when I saw the trailer I didn’t see Ethan Hunt, I saw crazy Tom. A public persona can take a while to wear away, but he’s done quite a job on his over the past 10 months.

By the way, the freaky pair has finally spawned, their TomKitten popping out Tuesday afternoon, a girl named Suri. I’d say that was a digression, but all of the articles do make mention of Cruise’s upcoming film. Moving on…

Next up is Tom Hanks with The Da Vinci Code, the cinematic version of one of the biggest selling books in years. In this case it’s been the source material in the public eye, with a recent trial finding that Dan Brown’s book wasn’t plagiarism. As Hanks lay low, publicity for the film was high. I saw that trailer the same night as MI3 and was intrigued.

Cruise always has (and continues to) garner more press than Hanks even though I would argue they are equals. Over his past six films Cruise’s average box office has been $148 million while Hanks average has been $132 million. Hanks has two Oscars and five nominations, while Cruise has received three nods, but no wins so far. Both command $25 million or more a picture.

So it’s time for the showdown – winner wears the crown of King of Hollywood. My money is on Hanks.


  1. I'd put my money on hank to but this publicity machine for da vinci code is far wider reaching than just tom hanks name.

    --RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

  2. I'd put my money on Hanks as well. Mostly because Cruise's last film (War of the Worlds) came out when he was jumping on Oprah's couch and all the publicity then didn't help the movie much. Sure, it drew in some viewers but once word got out that it was awful that was about it.

    I'm not sure how much the publicity over the trial will help the DaVinci Code simply due to the time between the movie coming out and the end of the trial.

  3. I think that in the realm of unique marketing, the Da Vinci Code trial has done a far better job than the side show that is TomKat. What I've found interesting is that Hanks has managed to rise to the top of Hollywood without being the target of the tabloids.

  4. Hanks has got my vote! Cruise is just too crazy for me!