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The Staggering Amount Of Money Tom Cruise Stands To Make Off Top Gun: Maverick

In case you haven't heard, "Top Gun: Maverick" is the biggest box-office hit of the year. Not only is the high-octane action flick Paramount's highest-grossing film in the US — and the biggest Memorial Day Weekend movie of all time — but it's also Tom Cruise's most financially successful project of his career, earning over $1 billion so far (via Box Office Mojo). And if a recent report about the Hollywood legend's earnings is true, Cruise stands to make a mind-blowing amount of money for his return as Maverick. 

In early July 2022, Puck's Matthew Belloni (via UPROXX) reported that the "Mission: Impossible" star had a deal in place that saw him making $12.5 million upfront for "Top Gun: Maverick" and 10% of the first-dollar gross. In addition, if certain milestones were reached during its theatrical run and eventual home release, there would be "escalators" that increase Cruise's revenue percentage, Belloni reported. Well, according to inside sources, it seems the 60-year-old is set to make a killing. 

Cruise set to take home $100 million (or more) from Top Gun: Maverick

According to a July 20 report from Variety covering a multitude of A-lister salaries, Tom Cruise stands to make a cool $100 million — or possibly even more — for his participation in the production of "Top Gun: Maverick." This includes revenue compiled from ticket sales, his salary as an actor and producer, and an agreed percentage of all home rentals and streaming deals. The reported payday will come after the "Top Gun" sequel managed to rake in more than $1 billion worldwide at the box office and counting, with it still widely in theaters at the time of writing. "I would never bet against Tom Cruise," said a studio executive and source who spoke to Variety. "Most actors aren't worth what you pay them, but Cruise and maybe Dwayne Johnson justify their salaries."

Sources also tell Variety that Cruise purposely takes a lower salary-fee upfront for his movies and instead opts for a percentage of a project's first-dollar gross, along with other line items. It's one of the only deals of its kind in Hollywood, per Variety, and was most recently used for Cruise's role in the next two "Mission: Impossible" films, which are slated to net him $12 million to $14 million in upfront cash. 

According to The New York Times, the first-dollar gross deal has been integral to Cruise's career and has ultimately led to a massive fortune for him, with his films amassing a whopping $4.4 billion at the box office, per The NYT. With numbers like that, it's easy to see why movie studios are quick to hand over their money to the acting icon. "He eats, sleeps, and dreams this job," said former Paramount president of production Wyck Godfrey in an interview with The New York Times. "There is nothing else that takes his attention away. He outworks everyone else. He knows every detail."