Tom Cruise’s films have earned him an insane amount of money. He’s been in at least 74 movies over the years, which have made over $9.5 billion worldwide. From Top Gun to top profits, Cruise is now worth $600 million in 2022.
Thanks to an early acting success (and perhaps his jaw-dropping looks), Cruise is now one of the wealthiest people in Hollywood. He’s made money from producing films, backend deals, and real estate in addition to acting.
Tom Cruise’s Early Life
Tom Cruise Mapother IV was born on July 3, 1962, in Syracuse, New York. His mother was a special ed teacher and his father was an electrical engineer. Cruise claims that his father was a bully and physically abusive to him and his three sisters, who Cruise was close to. Their family moved around a lot due to his dad being in the Canadian armed forces, leading Cruise to attend a whopping 15 schools in 14 years. Apparently, bullying was something that Cruise had to deal with a lot from classmates as well.
Acting wasn’t Cruise’s first passion. He grew up playing sports until he suffered a knee injury from wrestling team. He got into drama club and landed the lead role in Guys and Dolls at one of his schools in Glenridge, New Jersey.
While that high school production was technically the beginning of his acting career, Cruise wasn’t hopping on the airplane to LA yet. He actually decided to try to become a Franciscan priest and attended Cincinnati’s’ St. Francis Seminary until he was expelled for drinking. He would later leave Catholicism and become a prominent member of the Church of Scientology.
Tom Cruise Hops on an Airplane
Cruise moved to New York to attend auditions, eventually relocating to Los Angeles. He landed a small role in Endless Love and then a lead role in Taps, both in 1981. CAA talent agency immediately noticed him and signed him on. He would later go on to start a production company with his talent agent, Paula Wagner, called Cruise/Wagner Productions.
The first role that truly put Cruise in the public eye was in Risky Business in 1983. He received a Golden Globe nomination for his part and his career took off from there. He made $75,000 for his role. Two years later, Cruise made half a million for his role in Legend.
Top Gun: Tom Cruise’s Net Worth Starts Soaring
Top Gun, released in 1986, earned $360 million at the global box office and put $2 million in Cruise’s pocket. That would have been about $5.4 million by today’s standards.
In contrast, Top Gun: Maverick, released 36 years later in 2022, earned over $1.2 billion at the global box office and paid Cruise $13 million upfront (not including additional income from sales). On the backend, however, he’s already made $100 million from Maverick, according to Variety.
Salaries and pay outs kept rising for Cruise. He made $3 million in 1988 for his role in Cocktail ($7.5 million by today’s standards) and $9 million from Days of Thunder in 1990.
Between 1992 and 1994, Cruise made an average of $13 million per movie in Far and Away, A Few Good Men, The Firm, and Interview with the Vampire.
Mission: Impossible Profits
Mission: Impossible was the franchise that truly put Cruise’s wealth on the moon. He reportedly made $70 million for the first film, $100 million for the second, $75 million for the third, and $70 million for the fourth. The franchise has made over $3.5 billion to date.
Cruise also reportedly made a whopping $100 million from War of the Worlds, which came out in 2005.
Altogether, 20 of the films that Cruise has been in have grossed over $100 million each. According to Celebrity Net Worth, 2 of the 10 all-time largest movie paychecks were paid to Cruise. They lump in the entire Mission: Impossible series as one paycheck, and that sits in the #1 spot. (Keanu Reeves come in at a close second with the Matrix franchise).
Tom Cruise’s Real Estate
In the 90s, Cruise bought a 320-acre property in Telluride, Colorado with then-wife Nicole Kidman. He built a 10,000 square-foot mansion on the property. Cruise sold that house for $39.5 million in 2021.
In 2007, Cruise and then-wife Katie Holmes purchased a 10,000 square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills for $30.5 million. They flipped that property for $38 million, selling it to financier Leon Black.
Cruise owns several luxury condos in the Skyview Tower of Clearwater, Florida. He’s dropped over $11 million for at least four units, including the penthouse. The building was developed by fellow Church of Scientology member, Moises Agami, and is situated near to the church’s Florida headquarters.