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Buzz for Tom Cruise in 'Jack Reacher' bad but improving

October 18, 2012|By Ben Fritz | This post has been updated. See below for details.
  • Tom Cruise is Jack Reacher in the movie "Jack Reacher," from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.
Tom Cruise is Jack Reacher in the movie "Jack Reacher," from… (Paramount )

This post has been updated. See below for details.

After reaching record high negative numbers, online conversations surrounding the upcoming Tom Cruise thriller "Jack Reacher" are becoming a little kinder.

In the two-week period ending Tuesday, 24% of online mentions of the new Paramount action movie were negative, with virtually all focused on complaints about Cruise, according to research firm Fizziology. That's the highest percentage of negative numbers the company has ever seen surrounding a particular actor in an upcoming picture.

Fizziology said 20% of mentions were positive, 52% neutral and 4% mixed.

Many complaints were about the casting of Cruise as Reacher, who in the books on which the film is based is described as nearly a foot taller than the actor.

"I love the Jack Reacher book, what a disappointment that they cast Tom Cruise to play him!!" said one online commenter, according to Fizziology.

"The more I see of the new 'Jack Reacher' film, the more annoyed I get at the decision to cast Tom Cruise as the main role," said another.

Sentiments improved somewhat, though, after Paramount Pictures put out a new poster for the movie on Tuesday and a new trailer Wednesday.

In an analysis conducted Wednesday and Thursday, Fizziology found that 13% of social media mentions are negative. While high compared to most films, it's outpaced by the 28% of mentions that are positive (also a poor showing compared to most upcoming movies tracked by Fizziology).

"Before the trailer: No. I refuse to watch anything with Tom Cruise in it anymore," said one commenter captured by Fizziology. "After the trailer: DAMNIT. I'M IN."

Of course, "Jack Reacher" won't be in theaters until Dec. 21, giving Paramount plenty of time to get audiences more excited for what the studio hopes will be a new action franchise.

[Updated, 3:11 p.m.: Paramount spokeswoman Katie Martin Kelly issued this statement: "It's always an adjustment for fans who have lived with an impression of a fictional character when you bring it to the screen, and as you observed, when the trailer came out there was a positive reaction."]

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