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Steven Spielberg tells Tom Cruise he “saved Hollywood’s ass”

At the annual Oscar nominees luncheon, Steven Spielberg ran into his Minority Report star Tom Cruise and thanked him for saving Hollywood in 2022 with Top Gun 2

Tom Cruise in Top Gun Maverick

The annual Oscar nominees luncheon always provides good photo opps and chances for Hollywood’s leading lights to run into each other. Steven Spielberg has worked with Tom Cruise twice – on science fiction movies Minority Report and War of the Worlds – both in the 2000s. They bumped into each other at the event, as they both have Best Picture nominations this year – for The Fabelmans and Top Gun: Maverick.

Spielberg was caught on camera thanking Cruise for “saving Hollywood” in 2022. This was referring to the runaway success of Top Gun: Maverick and the way it pulled people back into cinema-going. Twitter user Amanda posted a clip of the two movie titans hugging in the midst of a very busy and noisy room.

“You saved Hollywood’s ass, and you might have saved theatrical distribution, seriously. Maverick might have saved the entire theatrical industry,” Spielberg can be heard saying to Cruise. When Maverick was released, Cruise heavily pushed the theatrical experience, as has James Cameron with Avatar: The Way of Water. The Avatar sequel was the only movie to challenge Maverick for box office supremacy last year.

The third highest-grossing movie of 2022 – Jurassic World: Dominion – just managed to cross the one billion mark. Top Gun: Maverick made almost $1.5 billion, which is significantly more. Then in December, Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water came along and blew it out of the perfectly-generated CGI water – making $2.2 billion and counting.

Avatar 2 is now the third highest-grossing movie of all time, although Cameron’s own Titanic could potentially retake that spot thanks to the 25th anniversary re-release. Collectively, 2022 movies made around $7.35 billion, which is a significant increase on 2021’s $4.5 billion. It’s still not back to pre-pandemic levels though, as 2019’s total was $11.4 billion ($13.2 billion when adjusted for inflation).

Check out which new movies coming in 2023 could help bring the box office takings back to pre-pandemic levels.