The biggest films of Tom Cruise's career, from 'Top Gun: Maverick' to 'War of the Worlds'

The sequel to the 1986 hit 'Top Gun' raked in more than $800 million internationally

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In his four-decade-long career, Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing film at the worldwide box office has turned out to be Top Gun: Maverick.

The sequel to the 1986 classic Top Gun has raked in more than $800 million internationally. As the film is only three weeks into its release, it has a real chance of crossing the billion-dollar mark in global earnings.

So what was Cruise’s most internationally successful film prior to Top Gun: Maverick? Well, like most of his biggest earners, it was a Mission: Impossible film.

We take a look at the five of the most commercially successful films from Cruise’s long career.

5. 'War of the Worlds'

The Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation of the 1898 novel by HG Wells is Cruise’s fifth-biggest earner, pulling in more than $600m when it was released in 2005.

In the film, Cruise plays Ray Ferrier, a dockworker who struggles to protect his children amid an alien invasion.

4. 'Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation'

From here on out, Cruise’s biggest films are all from the Mission: Impossible franchise.

The fifth instalment of the series made more than $680m globally. The film also stars Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Rebecca Ferguson.

It is set in the wake of the dissolution of the Impossible Mission Force or IMF, and follows Ethan Hunt (Cruise) as he escapes the CIA and tries to prove the existence of the Syndicate terrorist organisation.

3. 'Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol'

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol made close to $700m at the global box office when it was released in 2011. The fourth film in the franchise follows Hunt and his team as they race to track Cobalt, an extremist who manages to get his hands on Russian nuclear launch codes, after an IMF mission goes awry and the Kremlin is bombed, implicating Hunt.

This is also the film that shows Cruise scaling Dubai's Burj Khalifa in a daring stunt.

2. 'Mission: Impossible — Fallout'

The sixth film in the Mission: Impossible series is the most successful, raking in $791m at the global box office. The film is the second in the series to be directed by US filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie after Rogue Nation.

McQuarrie is the first to direct more than one film in the series, and is also pegged to helm the two-part sequel Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, part of which was filmed in the UAE.

Fallout shows the re-emergence of Syndicate, now named Apostles, who intend to use stolen plutonium to power a nuclear weapon. Naturally, it is up to Hunt and the IMF team to thwart their plans.

1. 'Top Gun: Maverick'

More than three decades after Top Gun, Cruise reprises his role as the hotshot Navy pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in a cast that also includes Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Jon Hamm and Val Kilmer.

The film shows Maverick returning to the US Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor programme to train a new generation of jet fighter pilots, even as he is forced to reckon with his past. The film was released on May 27 and has a 97 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics saying that it “surpasses its predecessor in wildly entertaining style.”

Updated: June 19, 2022, 6:59 PM
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