Revenge of the Long Tail
According to the research cited in the article, there seems to be little or no significant correlation between Hollywood stars and the success of the films they star in. For example, Art Devany -- an economist who has specialized in analyzing Hollywood -- conducted research (with W. David Walls) that showed "only seven actors and actresses — Tom Hanks, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jodie Foster, Jim Carrey, Barbra Streisand and Robin Williams — had a positive impact on the box office, mostly in the first few weeks of a film’s release. ... No other star had any statistically significant impact at all." (One could argue that ascribing success to those seven actors may be confusing correlation with causation.)
What this incident between Mr. Cruise and Mr. Redstone may represent is the realization by the business side of the entertainment industry that the huge salaries and perks demanded by the stars aren't quantitatively justified. This possible reversal of fortunes for Hollywood's star system may represent what I would have called (in a previous blog) overcoming the Tyranny of the Power Law -- where a 'Long Tail' based strategy is embraced over a more elitist strategy.