Thirty-six years ago, on May 16, 1986, “Top Gun” debuted in theaters. The movie became a global phenomenon, earning $360 million at the box office. And on Thursday, May 25, 2022, after more than two years of COVID delays, the highly-anticipated sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” will finally be released.
If you’re a guy who is currently between 35-45 years old, the original Top Gun was nothing short of a life-changing world event. I was too young to see it in theaters (in 1986 I was 4), but once the movie came out on the nascent VHS technology, I was taken by its mighty wings at Mach 3 with my hair on fire straight to the danger zone for kehidupan.
I watched the VHS so many times, my parents had to hide it from me. But I found it and kept watching. Lagi dan lagi. When we were in the car, I made the whole family listen to my cassette copy of the soundtrack. Lagi dan lagi.
Ask any guy in the aforementioned age range, and I guarantee you at some point in their early life they dreamed of being a pilot. Excuse me, not just a pilot. A “naval aviator.” And just like the aforementioned sentence, Top Gun quotes and memes have become an innate language in our daily vocabulary.
Fun fact: Mark Zuckerberg sprinkled Top Gun quotes and references in random places in the first version of TheFacebook.com. For no reason at all, the original footer line of the site read: “Too close for missiles. Switching to guns.” Mark Zuckerberg was born in 1984 and is currently 38 years old. He gets it.
So, needless to say, most guys between 35 and 45 are likely making the pilgrimage to a movie theater this weekend to buy a ticket for “Top Gun: Maverick.” And if the movie proves to be as successful as all indicators are… indicating, Tom Cruise is about to buzz the tower with an aircraft carrier-sized payday.
How much did Tom Cruise earn for 1 gun?
First let’s step back a bit. Tom Cruise earned $50,000 for his breakthrough role in 1981’s “Taps.” His salary jumped to $75,000 for another star-making role in 1983’s “Risky Business.” That same year he earned $500,000 for a movie called “Legend” which I literally had not heard of before 20 minutes ago. And I think I know why. Legend was a bomb. It made $24 million on a $23.5 million budget. It has a 40% Rotten Tomatoes score.
Top Gun’s producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson were probably shitting their pants when Legend bombed. Right as it was bombing, they were in the midst of filming Top Gun.
Since his Top Gun contract was negotiated before Legend’s bombing, Tom Cruise’s $2 million salary was safe. But to be clear, Tom’s $2 million salary was 13% of Top Gun’s entire budget. And FYI, earning $2 million in 1985 is the same as earning around $5.4 million today.
Thankfully for all involved, Top Gun was a smash hit, earning $360 million at the global box office. It was the highest-grossing film of 1986.
Tom Cruise Top Gun 2. how much will you earn from
Top Gun set Tom Cruise on a path to becoming the highest-paid actor in the world. He earned $3 million for “Cocktail” in 1986, $3 million base and $9 million total after profit participation for 1988’s “Rain Man” and $9 million for “Days of Thunder” in 1990. In the early 1990s he was commanding $12-15 million per movie.
In 1996 Tom took on a new role: Producer
In 1995 Tom and his former agent Paula Wagner established Cruise/Wagner Productions on the Paramount studio lot and set out to find a project to develop. At some point they were made aware of the fact that Paramount already owned the rights to the “Mission: Impossible” television series. Not only was Tom a fan of the show as a kid, he was intrigued to learn that Paramount had struggled for years to find a way to develop the asset into a film franchise. Cruise and Wagner soon struck a deal with Paramount to make “Mission: Impossible” their first production project.
Released on May 22, 1996, almost 10 years from that day from the top gun release, “Mission: Impossible” continued to get $ 460 million with a budget of $ 80 million. Between his acting salary, and more importantly, producing a fee, Tom continued to get $ 70 million from the film.
He got $ 75 million from the sequel and another $ 75 million for the third installment. According to our calculation, Tom has obtained around $ 300 million to date thanks to the franchise “Mission Impossible”.
Thanks to this franchise and about 20 years from the same salary, heading to the top gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise’s net worth is $ 600 million.
There is a simple reason Tom makes a lot of money when he is a star and film producer. Not only he usually set aside about $ 20 million for himself to cover his acting tasks, he also received a generous part of his project backend points.
I reach the source of the producer who was placed well today to learn more about the backend Tom agreement. In my source, Tom Cruise literally was the only one who was left in Hollywood who could still lead part of the so -called “first dirty dollar” in his own films. The first dollar literally means income, not profit. The dirty little secret in Hollywood is that no film has profit. Blockbuster $ 500 million finally lost money on the famous studio accounting. So if an actor has points on backend profit, it might never make extra money. But the first dollar is dirty? That means if a film produces $ 500 million and an actor has 10% from the first dollar dirty, he gets $ 50 million. The first dollar paid even before the cinema takes a piece!
And according to my source, for “Top Gun: Maverick” Tom Cruise will receive 20% of the first dirty first dollar. That really has never happened before in Hollywood at this time.
So, when I pay $ 20 tomorrow to see “Top Gun: Maverick,” $ 4 directly to the Bank of Tom Cruise.
If the Top Gun: Maverick is $ 1 billion worldwide, which is projected to do, Tom Cruise will get …
If that happens, Tom will get 100 times the original rifle salary. And honestly, this may be the only example in the history of the film where payday is truly justified. This sequel will not exist without Tom’s acting, marketing, and savings.
If Tom does get $ 200 million, he will set a record for the largest single film acting salary of all time. By doing that, Tom will shift the “Sixth Indera” payday Bruce Willis which is adjusted to inflation to the second place.
And remember the son, there are no points for the second place.