You Are Not Ready For Money Tom Cruise Makes per Word of Dialogue in His Films

You Are Not Ready For Money Tom Cruise Makes per Word of Dialogue in His Films
Image credit: Legion-Media

Tom Cruise is the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, this is pretty much agreed upon.

His great acting skills, plus the combination of business acumen and producing his own Mission: Impossible movies, which allowed him to collect a percentage of profits, rather than a fixed salary, from many high-grossing hits, allowed Cruise to reach the top spot.

The fact that he is somewhat of a relic of the previous age of Hollywood, where star power of the leading actors (as well as name of the director) often did more for promoting the movie than belonging to a popular franchise, also helps – Cruise was first propelled to the A-list by his role of Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in Top Gun (1986) and remained there ever since.

But you are probably not ready to learn how much exactly he earns per word of dialogue. According to Casumo, Cruise earns $7,091 per word, which means $205,639 per 10 seconds of dialogue.

This is not just the highest income of any actor in Hollywood, but the highest by far.

The actors in the second and third places, Kurt Russell and Johnny Depp, earn only $5,682 and $4,877 per word, respectively. As for the actresses, Cameron Diaz, who is now retired, lags far behind, with $4,637 per word, and she achieved even that number mostly because she negotiated for a large percentage of profits when starring in Bad Teacher, the comedy which earned over ten times its budget.

And by now Tom Cruise had probably widened the gap between himself and other actors even more.

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Casumo does not reveal the exact methods of its earnings calculations, but seems to takes into account an actor's entire career (and Cruise, though most famous as an action star, played in a very good number of non-blockbuster movies).

More importantly, its calculations weren't updated since before the release of Top Gun: Maverick the last year.

And Top Gun: Maverick was not only one of the best movies of 2022, but also one of the most profitable, earning $1.489 billion on the budget of only $170 million. So, Cruise's per-word earnings probably have increased again by this moment. And he has the seventh and eight installments of Mission: Impossible scheduled for release in 2023-24, to boost them even more.