Tom Cruise becomes 2022’s highest paid actor with $100m salary for Top Gun: Maverick

 (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f)
(Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f)

Tom Cruise is this year’s highest-paid Hollywood actor, with reports suggesting he will be paid a whopping $100 million salary for Top Gun: Maverick.

According to Variety, Cruise has been able to wangle such a figure due to a package which means the actor and Top Gun: Maverick producer gets a cut of streaming revenues and ticket sales as well as his upfront fee.

The entire budget for Top Gun: Maverick was $170 million, making Cruise’s final pay all the more remarkable.

And to show Cruise’s meteoric rise since the 1986 release of Tony Scott’s Top Gun film, the budget for the first instalment was $15 million. This means that - while not adjusting for inflation - Cruise has now earnt over six times the entire budget of the first film.

The 36-year-later sequel has now brought in over $1.2 billion worldwide - and counting. It took under one month for the film to cross the billion-dollar mark, becoming Cruise’s first ever film to do so. Cruise’s next biggest hit at the box office was his 2018 Mission: Impossible — Fallout, which pulled in $791 million around the world.

As the film passed the billion dollar mark, Cruise tweeted: “To all the films in release, to all the studios, and to all the exhibitors: congratulations. To the audience: thank you for venturing out and allowing us to entertain you.”

Brian Robbins, Paramount Pictures President and CEO, said: “It’s rare to get the special kind of alchemy that creates a true event film, and we have been absolutely blown away by the global response to Top Gun: Maverick.”

According to Paramount, 16 per cent of the sequel’s viewers have seen Top Gun: Maverick at least twice, while four per cent have seen the film more than four times. The film has become Paramount’s domestic highest-grossing movie of all time.

Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick also now sits on the lists of top-grossing films of all time: it’s at the number 10 spot domestically and number 20 spot worldwide.

Showing just how astonishing Cruise’s salary is, the next best-paid actor this year is Will Smith, who is being paid $35 million for the forthcoming film Emancipation. The release of the action thriller, which will have The Magnificent Seven director Antoine Fuqua behind the camera, has been pushed back to 2023. Smith is still lying low after slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars in March.

According to Variety, the next best-paid actors are Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio who both earned $30 million. DiCaprio is being paid $30 million for Martin Scorsese’s upcoming American Western crime drama Killers of The Flower Moon, while Pitt is getting $30 million for a forthcoming drama about Formula 1.

However, Cruise’s salary isn’t the first time that an actor has earnt as much as $100 million for a role. Smith was reported to have earnt around that sum for Men in Black 3.

According to the Daily Mail, Cruise is likely to use the same system to earn another massive salary for his two upcoming Mission: Impossible films. Reportedly the actor is being paid around $12 million to $14 million for the role, but then will get a cut from ticket sales - even before the studio has made its money back.