Tom Cruise well on his way to biggest movie payday with ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Tom Cruise is all set to collect the biggest payday for an actor for a single movie, thanks to the success of Top Gun: Maverick. If he succeeds, he could overtake Bruce Willis’ reported $114 million payday for 1999’s ‘Sixth Sense,’ which collected $672.8m worldwide, reported The National.

The movie took in over $160 million in US box office takings over its four-day opening weekend, according to Paramount Pictures Studio. The sequel to the 1986 blockbuster ‘Top Gun’ already recorded the biggest opening over the Memorial Day holiday.

It overtook ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,’ which made $153 million in 2007. When global box office revenues are factored in, ‘Maverick’ took $253 million, according to Forbes.

This could propel Cruise to record earnings — owing to his status as one of the few actors to command a share of gross box office revenue, rather than a percentage of final or back-end profits. The practice is known in film finance parlance as “first-dollar gross.”

In addition to a base salary of between $12 million and $14 million, as Variety estimates, Cruise will receive 20 per cent of first-dollar gross for ‘Maverick,’ in addition to potential revenue from streaming sales, wealth-tracking website Celebrity Net Worth reported.

The film was made on a production budget of $170 million. Within the US, it is expected to earn in excess of $300 million, becoming Cruise’s biggest earner.

In total, the movies where Cruise is a leading actor have grossed close to $8.5 billion in worldwide revenue, according to estimates by box office aggregator The Numbers. He has also produced 12 movies, which have reaped $4.8 billion globally.

A recent article in The New York Times called him the last great movie star. Cruise’s net worth is estimated at $600 million by Celebrity Net Worth.

In addition to this year’s release, albeit delayed due to the pandemic, Cruise is also slated to star in two new ‘Mission Impossible’ movies that are planned for 2023 and 2024. The star will also appear in ‘Luna Park,’ which seeks to be the first action motion picture to be filmed in outer space, in partnership with billionaire Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX.