Tom Cruise’s Fortune Takes Flight With ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Paycheck

Tom Cruise’s pay for the second ‘Top Gun’ movie could be the biggest paycheck of his career now that ‘Maverick’ has grossed $1 billion.

Dan Clarendon - Author

Jun. 27 2022, Published 11:21 p.m. ET

Given Tom Cruise’s pay for Top Gun: Maverick, it’s safe to say his bank account is nowhere near the “Danger Zone”! The 59-year-old actor is one of the last movie stars to still get first dibs on a film’s backend gross. Now that Top Gun: Maverick is dominating the box office, he’ll make a fortune on this long-awaited sequel to 1986’s Top Gun.

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After all, Paramount announced on Monday, June 27, that Top Gun: Maverick had crossed $1 billion at the global box office, as CNN Business reports. That makes the movie Paramount’s second-highest grossing movie in domestic returns (behind Titanic), the second movie of the COVID-19 pandemic era to cross the $1 billion mark (behind Spider-Man: No Way Home), and the highest-grossing movie of Cruise’s career.

How much will Tom Cruise make from ‘Top Gun: Maverick’?

Cruise could end up making more than $100 million from Top Gun: Maverick, especially now that the film has crossed that billion-dollar threshold. “If [Top Gun] makes $1 billion worldwide, nine figures doesn’t sound loony tunes,” an entertainment lawyer told Forbes earlier this month.

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As Forbes reported at the time, Cruise got $12.5 million upfront for the picture, and he’s getting 10 percent of the money Paramount will get after movie theaters take their cut of the box-office haul, which is usually around 50 percent.

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So, now that Top Gun: Maverick has made $1 billion, Cruise’s paycheck may be around $62.5 million — his $12.5 million upfront fee plus $50 million, or 10 percent of Paramount’s half. And Maverick was still playing in close to 4,000 U.S. theaters as of Sunday, June 26, according to Box Office Mojo, so it’s safe to say that the movie still has a lot of jet fuel in its tank.

What was Tom Cruise’s pay for the original ‘Top Gun’?

According to his IMDb profile, Cruise earned a salary of $2 million to star in the original Top Gun film. Of the salaries IMDb lists, Cruise’s Top Gun paycheck was the biggest of his career to that point. He had earned $50,000 for his role in the 1981 military drama Taps, $75,000 for the 1983 comedy Risky Business, and $500,000 for the 1985 fantasy adventure Legend.

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By the end of the 1990s, Cruise was making 10 times his Top Gun pay. He got $12.5 million for the 1992 courtroom drama A Few Good Men, $15 million for the 1994 horror film Interview with the Vampire, and $20 million for the 1999 thriller Eyes Wide Shut.

And between 1996 and 2006, Cruise earned $70 million–$75 million for each of the first three Mission: Impossible films, thanks to his participation in the backend profits. According to CelebrityNetWorth, his current net worth stands at $600 million.

Tom Cruise

Actor and film producer

Net worth: $600 million (reported)

Tom Cruise is an actor and producer known for his roles in the Top Gun and Mission: Impossible franchises and for his Oscar-nominated roles in the films Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire, and Magnolia.

Birthdate: July 3, 1962

Birthplace: Syracuse, N.Y.

Spouses: Mimi Rogers ​(m. 1987, div. 1990)​, Nicole Kidman ​(m. 1990, div. 2001)​, Katie Holmes ​(m. 2006, div. 2012)

Children: Isabella (b. 1992), Connor Antony (b. 1995), Suri (b. 2006)


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