Tom Cruise is one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood but his latest movie, Top Gun: Maverick, is likely to set a new record, even for him.
Like other movie stars these days, Tom Cruise accepted a lower fee upfront in exchange for a larger share of the box office earnings.
And his strategy paid off.
Literally, in this case, because he is expected to make around $100 million from this film.
Top Gun: Maverick is the long-awaited sequel to the original Top Gun and this time, the expression “long-awaited” can and should be taken literally because the original Top Gun was released in 1986.
Critics loved the film, with a 97 percent rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, and fans loved it too, because box office numbers never lie.
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Speaking of which, the movie has grossed $1.24 million worldwide against a budget of $170 million, making it the 19th highest-grossing movie of all time and highest-grossing film of 2022.
In the past, Hollywood actors would happily negotiate a higher fee upfront and call it a day but things began to change and now both Hollywood studios and actors try to negotiate a fee+share of the earnings formula when they can.
It’s a bit of a win-win situation because actors like Tom Cruise know their box office results are always excellent and so it makes sense for them to take less money upfront so they can make more later, when they bring home the result.
On the other side of the coin, Hollywood studios often find themselves overpaying actors for movies that end up flopping at the box office, and so this formula makes more sense for them, too.
In the movie, Cruise plays Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.
Over thirty years after graduating from the TopGun academy, Maverick is now a test pilot.
Without revealing any spoilers, he is called back into action to help former rival turned close friend Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer) and young pilot Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller) save the day.
There’s also a sentimental element at play because Rooster is the son of Maverick’s former Radar Intercept Officer and friend LTJG Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, who died in first film.