Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Tom Cruise has been nominated for Academy Awards.
Ever since “Top Gun: Maverick” soared into theaters on Memorial Day weekend, the film continues to be a box office smash.
The movie has raked in about $1.2 billion at the box office worldwide, which guarantees a big pay day for Tom Cruise.
According to Variety, Cruise is estimated to “net $100 million or more from ticket sales, his salary and his eventual cut of home entertainment rentals and streaming revenue.”
The Academy Award nominee demands a cut of his movies’ “first-dollar gross,” which is why he’s getting a paycheck of “$12 million to $14 million” for starring in the next two “Mission: Impossible” films.
While most of Hollywood’s elite “still command large paydays, and many get a chunk of the profits, but they can only access the pool of riches after a movie is in the black,” Variety reported. “For decades, the biggest actors in the world commanded $20 million. That figure dated back to Jim Carrey’s payout for 1996’s ‘The Cable Guy,’ and it was a number that seemed immune to inflationary pressure.”
While films are moving towards streaming, actors are still getting paid a pretty hefty sum.
Apple is set to pay “Leonardo DiCaprio $30 million to reteam with Martin Scorsese on the historical drama ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ as well as shell out $30 million to Brad Pitt for getting behind the wheel of a currently untitled Formula One drama from ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ director Joseph Kosinski and $35 million to Will Smith for appearing in the escaped-slave thriller ‘Emancipation.'”
Netflix will pay up to “$20 million for Chris Hemsworth and $10 million to Millie Bobby Brown to reprise their roles in the upcoming sequels to ‘Extraction’ and ‘Enola Holmes.'”
While the streaming services are upping the ante, so are the actors, like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He reportedly requested and received “$22.5 million” to play the lead in the DC Film “Black Adam.” He’ll also receive “millions more” for his production credits on the film as well as promoting it onto his social media channels.
Other ways actors are cashing in are through sequels.
“Jason Momoa had an option to appear in a sequel to ‘Aquaman’ as part of his initial deal, but after the first film topped $1 billion, he renegotiated to essentially double his salary.” To reprise the role, he’ll “pull in $15 million” for “Aquaman 2.”
Joaquin Phoenix earned $4.5 million for the 2019 film “Joker”. The movie went on to earn over $1 billion and he won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the film. If he ends up doing a sequel, it could cost Warner Bros. about “$20 million.”
However, with talks of a recession and poor quarterly results for some companies, like Netflix, cutback are imminent. The streaming giant has become more choosey of its projects since losing upwards of one million subscribers in the first quarter.
“Companies like Warner Bros. Discovery are grappling with heavy debt loads and have made a commitment to slash costs.”
While Apple has a “market cap of $2.4 trillion” it may eventually look at ways to cut costs that “will have a trickle-down effect in terms of star salaries.”