Movie franchises are the name of the game in Hollywood these days. It seems like every blockbuster movie that comes out is part of a trilogy or a prequel or stand-alone film that’s attached in some way to a franchise.
One of the most overlooked movie franchises has to be the Mission Impossible series, a group of films built on the back of Tom Cruise. He has become synonyms with the franchise and it’s impossible to talk about Tom Cruise movies without mentioning the Mission Impossible series. Of course, even more than gaining notoriety, Mission Impossible has made him a rich man. So, just how much of Cruise’s net worth is a result of the six and counting Mission Impossible movies?
First, it’s worth mentioning that Cruise does some double dipping when it comes to his Mission Impossible movies
He will receive a flat fee for filming the movie and then receive a portion of the back-end box office earnings of the movie. Essentially, he gets paid for showing up on set and completing the movie and then gets paid again based on how many people see the movie. It’s not the kind of deal every A-list actor gets. Not even Tom Cruise movies outside of the Mission Impossible franchise give him that kind of deal, which is why a huge chunk of Cruise’s net worth of roughly $550 million has come from these six films.
It also started with the first Mission Impossible movie back in 1996. For that film, Cruise walked away with $70 million. If you take into account inflation over the two-plus decades since its release, Cruise made $114 million off that movie. Considering that the first Mission Impossible movie only had a budget of $80 million, it’s impressive for Cruise to haul $70 million for his efforts.
For Mission Impossible 2 and Mission Impossible III, released in 2000 and 2006, respectively, Cruise walked away with about $75 million per film. Despite several years between the two Cruise films, both Mission Impossible movies did great at the box office, helping the face of the franchise cash in with both his up-front fee and his 30% share of the box office profits.
For the fourth movie in the Mission Impossible franchise, Ghost Protocol, which was released in 2011, Cruise was actually gracious enough to take a pay cut. He only earned $12 million for his role as both actor and producer on the film. However, after Cruise got his cut after the box office proceeds, he ended up making $70 million for his efforts in Ghost Protocol.
As the series continued to grow, the money Cruise got just for acting in Rogue Nation in 2015 and Fallout in 2018 increased substantially. His starting salary on Rogue Nation was $25 million, a total that ballooned after the movie grossed $682 million worldwide. For Fallout, Cruise started out with $28 million in the bank. With the film taking in $791 million in worldwide sales, Cruise’s paycheck increased substantially.
Tom Cruise Net Worth
When you add it all up, the Mission Impossible movies alone have earned Cruise in the neighborhood of $285 million. Once again, when you factor inflation into the equation, he’s made the equivalent of around $389 million. That doesn’t even include other Cruise films in which he’s been the star, nor does it include the two Mission Impossible movies, the seventh and eighth in the franchise, that are in the works.
Obviously, that’s a whole lot of money for someone to make off of six movies, even someone with Cruise’s A-list status. However, Cruise’s attachment to the Mission Impossible is unique among big-money movie franchises in today’s world. As mentioned, he’s become synonymous with Mission Impossible. Even longtime fans of the franchise don’t have a connection to Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt; rather, they have a connection to Cruise because he’s in every move.
On the contrary, other movie franchises aren’t carried on the back one actor. Other franchises rely on brands like Star Wars or Marvel or superhero characters like Batman and Superman to carry them. Those franchises also rely on a slew of different actors and characters that sometimes changes from one film to the next. For example, several people have taken on the role of Batman over the years. But there are no Mission Impossible movies without Cruise. The movie series wouldn’t exist without him and would likely end if he wasn’t able to be the star.
The dependency that the Mission Impossible franchise has on Cruise is exactly why he makes the massive amount of money that he does from those movies. He’s the driving force in every film, especially when you consider that he performs his own stunts and has actually hurt himself by doing so. At the end of the day, Tom Cruise is the Mission Impossible film franchise and the Mission Impossible franchise is Tom Cruise.