Jack Reacher II - Looks Like It Won't Happen

Box office has been decent, but not stellar, for Tom Cruise’s filmed version of Lee Child’s character of Jack Reacher.

According to this Hollywood Reporter article, unless the film does great business in upcoming Asian markets, this might be the first and last of what they hoped would be a new franchise of Jack Reacher films.

My SO and I saw the film and liked it - but we are not avid readers of the book, so we simply took it at face value of an action/adventure film that was better than average.

Not to say some other actor might try his hand in the role in the future, but right now it looks bleak for ever seeing another Jack Reacher film in the near future.

I haven’t seen it yet. I’m an avid reader of the books, and I love watching movies that were filmed here in Pittsburgh. For me, the hesitancy is Tom Cruise. Not only do I dislike him for his crazy personal philosophy and advocacy, but he’s a little man playing a character that is supposed to be able to intimidate others just by his size alone. Without that, my fear is that it’s just going to be another guy who can kick-punch better than other people. (Not that Jack Reacher isn’t better at kick-punching, but, well, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Jackie Chan and so on and so forth…)

I haven’t seen the film either. This not going rides on its star. He is so far removed from the character in the novels, I see no point in going. I enjoy the character. If Woody Allen were to play one of the Sacketts, I wouldn’t want to see that film. When Whoopie Goldberg played Bernie Rodenbarr, I didn’t enjoy it. It’s not that I can’t make the leap to watch and enjoy this film. It’s just I don’t choose to.

I feel like I’m missing something, here.

BATMAN BEGINS grossed almost, but not quite, two-and-a-half times its budget; a sequel of course got the green light; same thing with the WOLVERINE movie; they both did better than THE TRANSPORTER – which promptly got a sequel – though not as good as the STAR TREK movie with the upcoming sequel, or the PERCY JACKSON movie with the upcoming sequel, and so on, and so on, forever and ever, amen.

Near as I can tell, this film already has a better return on investment than any of those; the upcoming Asian markets will just give it a better shot at tripling the budget the way any number of sequel-ready movies failed to do, but we’re already way past (a) doubling, and (b) the 2.5x mark.

So what’s the problem?

They could have called it:

Jack Reacher: Round 2

(not my joke)

Theater grosses get divided up with theaters and others. 50% is a typical guess for some movies. (The studio gets a very fat share in the first week or two, less as time goes on.) Overseas tickets are are divided up even further. So 2.5x at least would be needed to show a profit in theaters.

Also, there’s the production budget and the advertising budget. Advertising budgets are generally not known as well. For a movie like this, the advertising budget could easily be greater than than production budget.

Then, when considering a sequel, it’s not just whether the first movie made money, but what are the chances the 2nd one will make money? Cruise might demand a bigger paycheck, there’d be more pressure to increase the budget for more effects. But the sequel might make far less money. So why bother?

The movie had a good, but not great audience response. The studio might imagine doing better with a different project.

Comparison with other franchises that were broadly known to begin with won’t work here. Not that many people heard of Jack Reacher beforehand and many of those that did thought that Cruise was a poor choice.

This movie didn’t establish a franchise like the Transporter (low ad budget) or Bourne movies.

Percy Jackson wasn’t a purely US film, it killed overseas. So its domestic income was pure gravy. Films that do that well overseas are a producers dream come true. It’s hit or miss with international audiences on US films. This one had an international cast and production which helped. The studio is sweating it out on Reacher.


I enjoy the Reacher series books, but like Hentor said, the casting of the diminutive and crazy Tom Cruise (Reacher in the book series is a BIG guy and that is part of his persona and schtick) was too meh for me and two of my book-sharing/movie-going friends to bother seeing.

Based on my sample size of three Reacher-book series fans, the decision to cast the crazy little Scientologist-man was a big mistake. I think I said that in the other Cafe Society thread about the movie and I hold by that.

I totally would have paid to see this movie if they’d cast someone more appropriate, even someone relatively unknown.

My choice was Jared Padalecki from **Gilmore Girls **and Supernatural, as he already has the “hulking lone drifter” schtick down.

And ironically, the same BO performance as this version with him in it would warrant a sequel. The problem isn’t the box office take per se, it’s Tom Cruise: when you shell out $20m +5% of the gross for Cruise, it’s because you expect to be raking in the big bucks, not to break even.

And one more thing, after watching a couple of trailers.

What’s with the Jack Reacher stunt driving and macho car chases in the trailers?
The original Reacher character is self-admittedly not that great of a driver. This comes up in several of the books.

Gross mis-casting cost this series big time. What a shame. It could have been an amazing series.

So even if the movie character’s driving ability and physical size don’t correspond with the book character, what difference does it make? I very much doubt that this film is going to succeed simply based on the ticket sales to fans of the book series (which I have not read). And even though some are turned off by Tom Cruise (for his religion and other things), he’s still a huge box office draw worldwide. (Look at the Mission Impossible films, for instance, each of which grossed between $400-600 million.)

You can’t have it both ways (“you” being the studios). They bought the rights because a popular series has a built-in audience that likes the character. They can’t then change the character and expect the same people to shrug and say “well, it’s completely different but they used the guy’s name, so I’m happy.”

If they didn’t want to make a Jack Reacher movie, they could have made another generic action dlick like Knight and Day.

As much as I cringe at defending a movie starring the Primo Cult Dupe of our time, I like the guy as an actor, and I liked Jack Reacher. I liked the character as portrayed in the movie. As I said in the other thread I didn’t go to the theater specifically to see it the first time but the timing worked and I was very surprised at how much I liked it. I’ve actually seen it twice now since I went alone the first time, and then again last weekend with my husband. It wasn’t as fresh the 2nd time but I still had a good time.

Besides the character of Reacher, I liked the story, the mystery, the setting and the other characters. It’s a popcorn movie, and I saw it both times as a matinee. I feel I got my money’s worth. I enjoyed myself, and I would have gone to see/will see other Jack Reacher movies. I may or may not like any future Reacher movies, but I’d give them a chance. I haven’t read the books, and have no plans to read the books. I don’t give a flying toss how big the character is supposed to be. Based on what others have said in the first thread, they kept pretty true to most if not all of the other aspects of Reacher’s character.

He doesn’t come off as a great driver. He even spins out and floods the engine trying to get the car, which he “borrowed,” going again while he’s trying to chase down a couple of murderers. SPOILER: He loses them because he’s not a great driver. Twice in the movie he briefly “borrows” cars from bad guys, and once he “borrows” a car from the lawyer who has temporarily hired him. He doesn’t own a car, he travels in and out of cities via Greyhound bus, sans luggage (he buys clothes on the go), and sans phone (he uses pay phones).

Yeah, it could have been. It could still be if there aren’t as many book purists overseas.

No arguments here - hopefully I made it clear that my opinion is that of a reader (along with two friends of mine) first and a movie-goer second.

Tom Cruise is a capable actor, even though I abhor his politics. But he is notoriously small, a little itty bitty man, and that clearly is off-putting to Reacher afficiandos (based on my tiny sample size of three.)

It is good to know that his non-stellar driving and other mobile quirks remain true to form in the movie. :slight_smile:

It seems that book purists, and/or Tom Cruise haters have put the kibosh on this series. Which is a shame because it seems that the casting of the little itty bitty Scientologist killed it and it could have been a great series if the casting was done right.

I bet Lee Child is totally kicking himself for being so quick to endorse Cruise. He just lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Assume that they do indeed get about 50% of the box office, or $75M to date. With a published production budget of $60M, given the wide release they may not have even covered the costs of prints and advertising yet. They’ll make some up on DVDs and PPV, but still…this is no winner so far.

The problem is that this is a Tom Cruise movie. It’s been demonstrated repeatedly that, with the right material, Tom Cruise can bring in 500 million at the box office. A Tom Cruise movie that only brings in about 100 million domestic - well, that’s hardly a bomb, but it’s performing well below expectations. A studio’s going to look at that and think, “We can do another Jack Reacher movie, which will turn an even smaller profit, or we can put Cruise in a different property, and see if that one hits as big as Mission Impossible did.” It’s a no-brainer, both for the studio, and for Cruise, who doesn’t want to be known as a guy who’s only worth 100 million at the box office.

I agree that it’s very annoying and distracting when a character’s physical description is such a large part of the book and they cast someone totally different. (I felt that way when I tried to watch the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen. The first thing the book mentions is how fat their dad is. Then they cast a man who could fit comfortably inside a soda straw.) That’s why I’m glad I haven’t read the books, so I could truly enjoy the movie.

I saw the film and enjoyed it. I’m reading the second book now. I just finished the first. Yeah I get it, he’s a big guy in the books. However, also in the books he’s smart and intuitive; which Cruise portrays just fine. Not only that; but Cruise may be small in real life, but on film he looks average size to me; so it’s no big deal. Other than his physical size, they’re not changing the character that much. I’m surprised this is such a deal breaker for so many people. I wonder if there’d be this much outrage if it was Brad Pitt playing the role? While not known for being a small guy, he’s certainly smaller than 6’5" or whatever Jack Reacher is supposed to be.

I did wonder about the business judgment of choosing Hollywood’s most sexually ambiguous action star and putting him in a movie that makes people think of jacking and reaching. Presumably that won’t affect the international draw, though.

I think fans tend to allow for the normal ranges. Look at the X-Men movies with Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, a character that is (ironically) Tom Cruise’s height.

Don’t look at me; I’m still waiting for the sequel to Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.