The action movie Top Gun: Maverick has soared to incredible box-office returns, becoming not only the highest grossing movie of the year, but also the first Tom Cruise movie to bring in over $1 billion. Luckily for Cruise, the way he structures his deals in the industry means that he just made a pretty penny from the success of the film, too.
Over 30 years since the original ‘80s movie, Top Gun: Maverick picks up with Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell for the legacy sequel, now older, but probably not much wiser. As a brilliant, but at times reckless fighter pilot, Maverick is handed the responsibility of training an elite crew of young pilots to perform a near-impossible mission. The movie, as it turns out, is pretty damn good, and audiences clearly think so.
According to a report from Variety, the huge box-office figures for the thriller movie look set to net Cruise a tidy $100 million payout, on account of the bonus clauses he insists upon in his contract. Smart move, Cruise! If only the rest of the Top Gun cast had thought of that!
The actor accepts a lower paycheck up front, but makes up for it by adding a bonus structure based on box-office takings. The even smarter move though, is that Cruise demands the bonus even before the movie breaks even.
He has undertaken a similar agreement for the upcoming Mission: Impossible movies, reportedly taking somewhere between $12-14 million upfront. Given the popularity of the spy movie franchise, Cruise is likely to more than make up for that relatively small payment once the movie releases.
One studio executive said it best, claiming “I would never bet against Tom Cruise.” The passion and dedication to the craft that Cruise displays is second to none, from making a film, to then promoting it worldwide.
“Most actors aren’t worth what you pay them, but Cruise and maybe Dwayne Johnson justify their salaries,” the executive added. And that, is exactly why Cruise is one of a kind in the kinds of deals he can command.