How Much Did Tom Cruise Make For Top Gun 1 & 2? The Answer Will Blow Your Mind!

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise’s iconic role as Maverick in the Top Gun franchise has resulted in some impressive paychecks! Curious how much Tom Cruise earned for each of the Top Gun movies?

1986’s Top Gun became an instant classic when it premiered. The action movie was a huge success, grossing over $357.2 million in its theatrical run. And its sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, is credited for bringing fans back into the theaters post-COVID. The film grossed over 1.495 million at the worldwide box office.

So, how much of that financial success did Tom Cruise see? With a hefty paycheck from the films, his net worth got a sizable boost from the franchise. 

tom cruise top gun
Photo Credit: Paramount

Tom Cruise Made Over $100 Million For Top Gun: Maverick

For the Top Gun: Maverick, Cruise originally agreed to a paycheck of $12.5 million upfront to negotiate a deal that would give him a steady income on backend ticket sales.

Forbes reported that the A-lister received 10% “of the first dollar gross” based on the money the movie’s distributor, Paramount, would take in after the theaters get their cut. Combined with Cruise’s salary, the actor would earn over $100 million from Top Gun: Maverick alone.

So how much did he make from the 1986 Top Gun movie? Cruise received a $2 million paycheck for the film. Adjusted for inflation, the amount Cruise received would be around $5.5 million today.

But back to Top Gun: Maverick! The 2022 film broke records for Cruise and his career. It was Cruise’s first movie to pass the $1 billion mark at the box office. While $12.5 may seem like a salary on the smaller side for Cruise. He accepted the smaller salary upfront to get a larger amount after the film’s release. This approach is becoming more common with A-listers in huge blockbusters. Margot Robbie had a similar deal in place for 2023’s Barbie.

Following the Top Gun sequel, Cruise negotiated a similar backend deal for himself based on box office profits for his more recent flick, Mission Impossible (and its upcoming sequel).

Tom Cruise in 2023
Photo Credit: Loredana Sangiuliano

Tom Cruise’s Net Worth In 2023 Explained

Cruise’s current net worth is estimated to be over $600 million, including what he received from the Top Gun films as well as his other films. 

Curious how the breakdown of salaries worked for each of his movies? Let’s start with his breakout role in the 1983 flick, Risky Business, where he earned $75,000. Next, in 1985, he starred in Legend, receiving $500,000 for his role. Following Top Gun in 1986, Cruise would star in Cocktail in 1988, where he received a $3 million salary. Then, in 1990, Cruise received $9 million for his role in Days of Thunder.

The A-lister’s salary only went up from there as Cruise went on to receive $12 million for his role in the classic A Few Good Men. For the 1993 film The Firm, Cruise received $12 million again until the following year when he received $15 million for Interview with the Vampire. Cruise’s salary skyrocketed even more as he reportedly received $70 million for the first Mission Impossible film and $75 million for Mission Impossible 3. This was mainly due to Cruise receiving producer credits.

But Cruise’s most profitable film? Mission Impossible 2, where he earned $100 million, which was mostly due to backend deals. He would earn the same amount when he did the 2006 film War of the Worlds. So, between 1983 and 2019, Cruise reportedly made $745 million. According to CinemaBlend, the A-lister makes $7,091 per word of dialogue. Cruise’s financial success makes him one of the richest actors in Hollywood today.

Tom Cruise
Photo Credit: cristiano barni

Child Support & Real Estate

Cruise also pays child support to his daughter Suri, whom he shares with Katie Holmes. According to TMZ, Cruise is required to pay Holmes $400,000 a year until Suri turns 18. Holmes does not get spousal support, but Cruise agrees to pay for Suri’s “medical, dental, insurance, education, college, and extracurricular costs.”

Another factor that contributes to Cruise’s high net worth? The A-lister’s knack for buying and selling a lot of homes. Cruise has flipped a lot of properties over the years. The most recent property was a Telluride home that was reportedly sold for $39.5 million.

A Young Tom Cruise in the Early 1990s
Photo Credit: Vicki L. Miller

Early Life & Career

Before he was known to the world as Tom Cruise, he was known as Thomas Cruise Mapother IV. Cruise was born on July 3, 1962, to special education teacher Mary Lee Mapother and Thomas Cruise Mapother III, an electrical engineer. The A-lister also happens to be the only son out of four children. As a child, Cruise moved around a lot and when he was 14 years old, he already attended 15 different schools in the US and Canada.

In his high school years, Cruise actually wanted to become a priest but was soon bitten by the acting bug. Cruise dropped out of school and when he was 18 years old, moved to New York to pursue acting. He made his film debut in the 1981 movie Endless Love and the rest is history.

By 1990, Cruise renounced his Catholic faith and embraced the controversial Church of Scientology.

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 7
Photo Credit: Paramount

Iconic Tom Cruise Movies

As mentioned earlier, many of Tom Cruise’s movies became classics. From his breakout role in Risky Business to A Few Good Men, and even surprised audiences when he portrayed Lestat in Interview with the Vampire. And of course, we can’t forget his roles in Jerry Maguire (where he earned an Oscar nomination), The Firm, The Rain Man, Vanilla Sky, and Minority Report.

Aside from Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick, Cruise is also known for playing Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible. The spy film franchise recently released its seventh film, and the eighth film isn’t far behind.

Speaking with Forbes, Cruise talked about doing sequels to his films, saying, “I think in the back of my mind, I was hoping, maybe. I hadn’t done sequels, and I kind of had a rule not to do sequels. Everyone was all over me about doing Top Gun. I was like, ‘Where do I take it? With Mission, I thought that it’s a challenge for me. It’s a logistical challenge. It’s an artistic challenge. We’re working on the highest level because you have practical action.” said Cruise.

“How do we develop these stories? How do we develop these characters? What is the dialogue going to be with an audience here? I make movies for audiences, so I want to know what is their response going to be? How can I improve it? What can I do better? How will these stories evolve? Then I came up with the idea of different directors for each one,” Cruise added.

Fans of Cruise can see him next in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two, which Cruise was filming as of late June 2023. The film is currently scheduled for a June 2024 release. However, it’s unclear presently if that will be pushed due to the WGA and SAG strikes.