Tom Cruise is a celebrity who needs no introduction. One of the most bankable actors in the world today and along with peer Tom Hanks, he may be one of the last true movie stars. Handsome and dark-haired, Cruise has starred in multiple top-grossing franchises since his film debut, a minor role in 1981’s Endless Love.
Catapulted to star status in 1984’s Risky Business, he ascended to superstardom in 1986 with legendary lead roles in Top Gun as devil-may-care flyboy Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and The Color of Money as nine-ball pool hustler Vincent Lauria. Since then, he has been a permanent fixture on Hollywood’s “A-list,” a status he ascended to despite not being part of the 1980s “Brat Pack” of young rising-star actors like Charlie Sheen and Demi Moore (the latter of whom he co-starred with in 1992’s A Few Good Men).
His most recent film, 2022’s Top Gun Maverick, the long-awaited sequel to the 1986 classic film, grossed $1.5 billion at the box office and is proof of his bankability for at least another decade.
Actor Tom Cruise net worth is measured at approximately $600 million as of 2022. His primary sources of income are acting and investments. Due to his lengthy record of hit films and a “movie star” image that has survived a major controversy regarding his well-known devotion to the Church of Scientology, Cruise is exceptionally wealthy for a celebrity with no ties to the technology industry. Cruise is one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood and his films have over his lifetime earned him approximately $1.1 billion dollars in gross revenue. His annual salary from his films exceeded $50 million in 2022.
Tom Cruise is a savvy investor, and approximately $25 million, or just under 1/3 of his annual income derives from investments. His investment portfolio is centered in real estate and luxury vehicles, with nearly $5 million invested in an extremely rare World War II fighter aircraft, his personal F-6K (RF-51K) Mustang, one of only three known flyable examples of that variant of the venerable warbird. Cruise is also a film producer, being a co-executive producer on his two major film franchises, Top Gun and Mission Impossible.
Because Mr. Cruise is now a film producer as well as an actor, his movies represent investment income for him as well as salary income. From 1992 to 2008, Cruise and his then agent Paula Wagner produced films in their joint venture, Cruise/Wagner Productions. However, this company fell apart and became defunct after the two had a falling out in 2008, surrounding the continued ill fortune of United Artists that led to Cruise’s more public embrace of Scientology as his religion. Today, after de-emphasizing Scientology in his public image, Cruise has rehabilitated his image as an actor and producer, and currently works under a long-term contract with Skydance Entertainment, acting in and developing new films.
One of the most bankable stars in Hollywood is a phrase that is used a lot to describe Cruise. His seven highest-grossing films of all time have grossed over 4 billion dollars put together. Cruise’s bombs still reliably make over $100 million, and his most recent blockbuster, Top Gun Maverick, set the all-time record for current-year dollar take by a film of $1.5 billion domestic box office. Since 2016, Cruise’s annual salary from movies has averaged approximately $43 million per year, with his salary in 2022 from Top Gun Maverick topping $50 million. On salary alone, not including revenue from royalties, Cruise had personally grossed, prior to the release of Top Gun Maverick, approximately $285 million from his movies.
Some of Cruise’s most notable recent movies include Top Gun Maverick, his 2022 sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun; the upcoming Mission Impossible films, Mission Impossible: Fallout in 2018, and American Made in 2017. By the end of 2024, Cruise will have made eight films in the Mission Impossible series, his longest and most lucrative movie series to date.
Unlike many of his peers, Tom Cruise does not actively endorse products. His film product placements are not related to his personal image, which is part of what makes him such a personally appealing “movie star” style actor: His product placements may be paid to the studios to be part of his films, such as the beer pulls at the bar in Top Gun Maverick, but not because those products are personally endorsed by him.
Cruise has been under contract three separate times during his career. For the first 17 years of his professional life, he was under employment by Paramount Pictures and appeared in Paramount Pictures films for the most part. Between 1997 and 2008 he mostly appeared in films by MGM Studios, except for the lucrative Mission Impossible series. Since leaving MGM he mostly works with Skydance Entertainment, developing and starring in films for Paramount Pictures.
Cruise makes it a point to mentor young actors he works with on his films. During the filming of Top Gun Maverick, he developed close relationships with co-stars Miles Teller (Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw) Glen Powell (Lt. Jake “Hangman” Seresin) and Monica Barbaro (Lt. Natasha “Phoenix” Trace), encouraging them to pursue flying lessons. As Cruise has progressed in his career, he’s expressed the importance of giving back to younger generations of actors.
One of the strongest actors in his generation, Cruise was long dismissed as being a pretty boy. But his 2000s and 2010s films showed an increasing ability to produce important films. This gave him a movement toward both action-oriented and thoughtful films that gave him additional clout coming into the 2020s.
Tom Cruise is one of the most charitable stars in Hollywood. Though downplaying his religious ties to the controversial Church of Scientology in recent years, he has a baker’s dozen of causes that he is a passionate and public advocate about, including dyslexia, AIDS, and child welfare around the planet. Cruise is a major public face of UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and international pediatric AIDS organizations. His strongest charitable passion is for literacy. Cruise is a board member of the Hollywood Education and Literacy Project.
After 40 years of being one of the most consistently bankable stars in Hollywood, Tom Cruise is still on a roll. Despite being 60 years old, Cruise routinely wins roles that would ordinarily go to men decades younger than him. His annual film salary routinely tops $50 million, a figure that would have been unthinkable just two decades ago.
Cruise’s net worth of $600 million makes him one of the richest actors in Hollywood. He has made the 11th-highest grossing film of all time, Top Gun Maverick. His ability to perform his own stunts continues at an age where even the most active of actors are handing over their stunt acting to stuntmen. Cruise is both affordable despite the high paychecks he can command and in terms of putting up his own money to make films happen that he truly believes in.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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