Top Gun: Maverick’ Puts Tom Cruise On Track To Best Will Smith’s Record Hollywood Payday

Published: June 2, 2022
Updated: June 2, 2022
Top Gun Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick

In only three days, “Top GUN” sold over $280 million in worldwide ticket sales.

Top Gun: Maverick, the much-anticipated (and Covid-delayed) film, has put Tom Cruise on a path to achieve what seemed inconceivable only a year ago: a new record for the highest-ever compensation for an ACTOR.

“Nine figures don’t sound like looney tunes if [Top Gun] makes $1 billion all over the world,” one entertainment lawyer explains.

CRUISE, 59, is often referred to as “one of Hollywood’s last great actors.”

Because of his long-standing order of first-dollar gross on the rear of a film, he is now somewhat of a unicorn.

CRUISE received $12.5 million in upfront compensation for Top Gun Maverick and now owns more than 10% of the primary dollar gross, which is determined by the amount of money Maverick retailer Paramount receives after venues take their share, which is usually approximately half. To date, the deal is estimated to have paid Cruise more than $30 million in total.

Tom Cruise’s high-flying “Top Gun: Maverick” is one of the year’s biggest box office hits, earning a record-breaking $160.5 million and a perfect 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Can this fighter stay airborne for the next seven months and lead to Academy Award success, with love pouring in for the second part of test pilot and flying instructor Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s story?

Top Gun Maverick

Casual Oscar viewers and fans have drawn parallels to George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” as a possible Oscars point of comparison – a crazy and improbable analogy. Miller’s film, one of just six to be nominated in every single category, breathed new life for the franchise and, possibly, the entire action genre. Similarly, “Maverick” is a brilliant callback to its 1986 predecessor, with some fantastic effects and accomplishments.

Also Read Top Gun: Maverick producer on Tom Cruise, Netflix, and Future of Movies

However, the buzz surrounding the best picture nomination for “Top Gun: Maverick” appears to be the first instance of the “CODA” effect, a reference to the best picture winner that made hopeful cinephiles believe that “everything is possible” when it comes to prizes. However, we’ve heard this tune before when films like “The Avengers” (2012) and “Furious 7” (2015) become box office and critical darlings. While a nomination for “Top Gun: Maverick” could help boost Oscarcast numbers, Joseph Kosinski’s air adventure is unlikely — but not impossible — to enter the best picture field.


The artisan branches, which account for more than 60% of the Academy’s membership, are the starting point for award success. The number of technical nominations required for a blockbuster film to be considered for the best picture nomination has risen to about five to six. 

Recent films such as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015) and “Blade Runner 2049” (2017) have received five nominations in their respective years but fell short of crossing the finish line, however, others such as “Inception” (2010) and last year’s “Dune” have done so.

While Memorial Day weekend was defined by barbecues, commemorating our troops, and, this year, getting a ticket to see “Maverick,” the heights to which Paramount’s film climbs will be determined by its ability to maintain its momentum throughout the summer. With films like Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon” on the horizon, Cruise will have to take the reins and drive the movie to an Oscar victory.

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