Tom Cruise almost always delivers spectacular performances, including even the blandest characters with unqualified emotional intensity. Whether he’s playing a brash fighter pilot, a determined secret agent, or a tortured military officer, the 60-year-old almost always finds a way to captivate audiences, repeatedly earning the distinction of being one of the most versatile leading men in Hollywood. Given this undeniable talent, it should come as no surprise that Cruise’s films end up becoming box office phenomenons, with some racking up billions of dollars in sales. As audiences around the world prepare for the premiere of Cruise’s latest commercial masterpieces, we take a look at the actor’s highest grossing films.
1 Top Gun: Maverick ($1.4 Billion)
Top Gun: Maverick, the 2022 sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun, is the highest grossing film of Tom Cruise’s career. The film, which stars Cruise as naval aviator Maverick, grossed $1.489 billion in global box office sales, becoming the second highest grossing film released in 2022 after Avatar: The Way of Water.
The film received stellar reviews from critics and fans alike, with its critics’ consensus on Rotten Tomatoes reading, “Top Gun: Maverick pulls off a feat even trickier than a 4G inverted dive, delivering a long-belated sequel that surpasses its predecessor in wildly entertaining style.”
2. Mission: Impossible – Fallout ($791.6 Million)
Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which premiered in July 2018, is the highest grossing Mission: Impossible film of all time, having garnered $791.7 million in box office sales against a budget of $178 million. Like its predecessors, the film stars Tom Cruise as IMF Agent Ethan Hunt, and features some of the most spectacular action sequences in the franchise’s history.
Upon release, the film was met with widespread adulation, with a critic from Variety hailing it as “the series’ most exciting installment yet,” adding, “McQuarrie clearly believes in creating coherent set pieces: His combat scenes are tense, muscular, and clean, shot and edited in such a way that the spatial geography makes sense.”
3. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol ($694.7 Million)
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the fourth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise, yet again features Cruise as the ever-capable Ethan Hunt. The film, which premiered in Dubai in December 2011, was a resounding commercial success, grossing over $600 million in global box office sales against a budget of $145 million.
The film was met with favorable reviews from fans and critics, with most gushing over Cruise’s performance. “Brad Bird passes his audition for a career as a live-action director,” wrote a reviewer from The Charlotte Observer. “And Ghost Protocol more than makes its bones as an argument for why Tom Cruise should continue in this role as long as his knees, and his nerves, hold up.”
4. Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (682.7 Million)
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the fifth Mission: Impossible installment is the third highest grossing film in the franchise, having garnered $682.7 million at the box office against a budget of $150 million. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the film follows Hunt and his team as they try to take down a shadowy organization known as the Syndicate, which seeks to sow chaos and destruction around the world.
Apart from commercial success, the film also garnered widespread acclaim, with Rotten Tomatoes’ critics praising it for continuing “the franchise’s thrilling resurgence—and [proving] that Tom Cruise remains an action star without equal.”
5. War Of The Worlds ($603.8 Million)
The 2005 science fiction film, War of The Worlds is arguably the greatest testament to Cruise’s versatility as an actor. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film stars Cruise as Ray Ferrier, a working-class father who must protect his children from an alien invasion that threatens to wipe out humanity.
Though accustomed to playing brusque macho men, Cruise portrayal of Ferrier is neither lacking in vulnerability or strength, and is a true testament to his versatility as a leading man. Despite receiving slight criticism for its weak ending, the film went on to garner $603.8 million in global box office sales against a budget of $132 million.
6. Mission: Impossible III ($550.5 Million)
Directed by J. J. Abrams, Mission: Impossible III stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, this time getting pulled out of retirement to track down a dangerous arms dealer who has stolen a powerful weapon. One of the most memorable aspects of the film is its high-octane action sequences, rendered all the more thrilling by Cruise’s dedication to performing his own stunts.
The film became a resounding commercial success almost immediately after its premiere, topping the box office in its opening week, and ranking top ten at the box office for the first six weeks of its domestic run. Critics were also unequivocally impressed with the film, with a reviewer from Entertainment Weekly labeling it “a gratifyingly clever, booby-trapped thriller that has enough fun and imagination and dash to more than justify its existence.”
7. Mission: Impossible (457.6 Million)
Mission: Impossible is one of the less successful installments in the Mission: Impossible franchise. Despite the success of subsequent iterations, Mission: Impossible’s debut installment grossed just under $500 million in worldwide box office sales against a budget of $140 million.
Though praised for its thrilling action sequences, the film was criticized for its intricate plot, which the critics’ consensus on Rotten Tomatoes describes as “convoluted.”
8. The Last Samurai ($454.6 Million)
Directed by Edward Zwick, The Last Samurai features Tom Cruise as Captain Nathan Algren, a disillusioned Civil War veteran who is hired to train the Japanese army in modern warfare techniques.
Yet another testament to Cruise’s versatility as a leading man, the film was a resounding commercial success, surpassing is $140 million budget by over $300 million in box office sales.
The film would later face backlash for its racist undertones, with a reviewer from Variety chastising it for being “disappointingly content to recycle familiar attitudes about the nobility of ancient cultures, Western despoilment of them, liberal historical guilt, the unrestrainable greed of capitalists and the irreducible primacy of Hollywood movie stars.”
9. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Dead Reckoning Part One premiered on the Spanish Steps in Rome on June 19, 2023, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 12, 2023, by Paramount Pictures. It has received widespread acclaim from audiences and critics alike and has grossed $449 million worldwide.
The biggest reason that can be credited to this would, however, have to be the poor choice of release date, as the movie would have to go head to head with Barbie and Oppenheimer, both of which have much more hype surrounding them than the Mission: Impossible film.
Ali has interviewed many stars on the red carpet and does alot of video production too for all the big media brands. Output also includes MarkMeets on Youtube.
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