I have confirmed today that there has been an unusual pattern of ticket sales for Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible 3 at Hollywood’s ArcLight Theater, which just happens to be located right near the Church of Scientology Celebrity Center where Cruise belongs. Unconfirmed anecdotes are circulating on the Internet this weekend of individuals buying hundreds of tickets at a time from the ArcLight. But an ArcLight employee did confirm to me just now that “people have been buying dozens of tickets at a time” for MI3, which is definitely an extraordinary sales pattern for the movie theater (or any theater, for that matter). Certainly, the “M” word — for manipulation — comes to mind.

Meanwhile, MI3′s opening weekend is near-disastrous. See UPDATED: MI3 Opening Weekend Freefall. Cruise’s Fault, Hollywood Players Tell Me.