Tom Cruise might not be as insanely massive (we obviously mean size-wise) as The Rock, or have a hero catchphrase as oft-repeated as Arnold Schwarzenegger's "I'll be back," but he's still cemented a rock-solid reputation for himself as Hollywood's leading action star over the last 30-something years. Naturally, we've expected most of his heart-pounding, stunt-filled blockbusters to rake in the big bucks at the box office, and well, most of them did. But there's also been a handful of his movies that have yielded surprising numbers. Since Tom's latest flick, "American Made," is set for release on Sept. 29, 2017, let's take a look at his most unexpected — good and bad — grosses.
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"Top Gun" (1983)
Lifetime domestic gross: $179,800,601
Lifetime worldwide gross: $356,830,601
The 1980s were Tom Cruise's decade! He got his start at the ripe, young age of 19 with a small part in 1981's "Endless Love" and started to get recognized more after dancing around in a white button-up without pants in 1983's "Risky Business." But nobody realized how big he would become, or how much money the studios would make, after the release of 1986's "Top Gun." Way back then, on opening weekend, the military drama opened with over $8 million at the box office and has since raked in more than $356 million worldwide. For a then-newbie actor, who could've imagined such big numbers? And critics weren't even big fans, as the film has only a 51 percent positive review rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score, however, is reflective of the movie's mega-earnings, with an 83 percent fresh rating.
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Lifetime domestic gross: $15,502,112
Lifetime worldwide gross: N/A (It did so badly, we don't even want to know)
Tom Cruise was flying high (pun intended) after 1983's "Top Gun" turned him into a superstar, so it was quite shocking when his followup film, "Legend," tanked at the box office. The 1985 fantasy flick cost $24 million to make and only netted around $15.5 million domestically, meaning that the studio most definitely lost almost $10 million. We guess the world just wasn't interested in Tom as a forest-living creature who spoke the language of animals and hung out with unicorns all day.
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"Interview with the Vampire" (1994)
Lifetime domestic gross: $105,264,608
Lifetime worldwide gross: $223,664,608
With studs like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt starring in 1994's "Interview with the Vampire," it wasn't a total shock that the film did well at the box office. But the horror drama actually did really, really well given that its budget was $60 million and it raked in over $223 million worldwide. Do you know how many crucifixes and cloves of garlic you could buy with that?
Lifetime domestic gross: $22,455,976
Lifetime worldwide gross: $48,451,803
In 2000, "Magnolia" earned Tom Cruise a Golden Globe for best supporting actor and an Oscar nomination. Critics were all about the ensemble melodrama, garnering the movie an 84 percent positive review rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So it was pretty strange that it didn't do that well at all at the box office, earning only around $48 million worldwide on a $37 million budget. We wouldn't say that a $9 million profit is anything to brag about, and it simply doesn't make sense seeing as the movie was widely acclaimed. Tom's motivational-speaker character just wasn't motivating enough to get viewers into seats.
"Mission: Impossible II" (2000)
Lifetime domestic gross: $215,409,889
Lifetime worldwide gross: $546,388,105
The first "Mission Impossible" film in 1996 was a surefire success, easily raking in over $457 million worldwide with the lure of Tom Cruise jumping off buildings and blowing up helicopters. But it's hard to tell if a sequel is ever going to live up to, let alone surpass, the original. That's why 2000's "Mission: Impossible II" really blew us away! It raked in upwards of $546 million worldwide and $215 million domestically (Tom's second highest in the States). It was also Tom's first movie with a budget over $100 million, at $125 million. The third installment, 2006's "Mission: Impossible III," not so shockingly came in with the lowest numbers at about $397 million worldwide, seeing as the second film's success was a pretty tough act to follow. But as technology improved, so did Tom's insane stunt capabilities, which made it not so surprising that the fourth and fifth additions to the franchise were extremely huge moneymakers: 2011's "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol" made over $694 million worldwide and 2015's "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation" made over $682 million.
"The Last Samurai" (2003)
Lifetime domestic gross: $111,127,263
Lifetime worldwide gross: $456,758,981
With so much attention focused on Tom Cruise's success in the "Mission Impossible" franchise at the time, we didn't realize how huge of a blockbuster hit 2003's "The Last Samurai" turned out to be. Tom's Nathan Algren, a former U.S. Army captain recruited to train the Imperial Japanese Army for a rebellion against the emperor, garnered him a Golden Globe nod for best actor. The war movie was a total hit with viewers too, giving it an 83 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So get this: "The Last Samurai" made more than triple its production budget of $140 million, with a worldwide gross upwards of $456 million. Guess people were totally into long-haired Tom and all those sword tricks.
"War of the Worlds" (2005)
Lifetime domestic gross: $234,280,354
Lifetime worldwide gross: $591,745,540
2005's "War of the Worlds" didn't stack up when it came to worldwide gross in comparison with some of the later "Mission Impossible" movies, but it's still Tom Cruise's highest ranking blockbuster domestically to date thanks to its box office haul of over $234 million. The sci-fi alien-invasion hit also sits at the top of Tom's opening weekend grosses, with upwards of $64 million. What's even more surprising here is that critics and viewers didn't even seem to like it that much, with 74 percent and 42 percent fresh ratings, respectively, on Rotten Tomatoes. But the numbers make more sense when you consider that, at the time, all eyes were on Tom after his over-eager couch-jumping love profession to Katie Holmes on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
"Lions for Lambs" (2007)
Lifetime domestic gross: $15,002,854
Lifetime worldwide gross: $63,215,872
Not to inflate Tom Cruise's ego more, but it seems like when he's not the star of a film, it just doesn't do as well. Take the 2007 political war drama "Lions for Lambs" with Tom in a supporting role, for example. Despite an all-star cast with Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, the project only made around $15 million domestically, but cost $35 million to make. We're not mathematicians or anything, but that's clearly a large deficit when it comes to profits and losses. What's even more surprising is that Tom was pretty darn sexy in the role of Senator Jasper Irving.
"Knight and Day" (2010)
Lifetime domestic gross: $76,423,035
Lifetime worldwide gross: $261,930,436
Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz had teamed up once before — for 2001's "Vanilla Sky" — so their reunion in the action-comedy "Knight and Day" was expected to bring in some big numbers. But that was not the case. TomCam was not well-received by critics: The movie garnered a 52 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And with a $117 million budget, the duo still only raked in just over $75 million domestically. Third time's the charm, maybe?
"Rock of Ages" (2012)
Lifetime domestic gross: $38,518,613
Lifetime worldwide gross: $59,418,613
Hopes were high when the 2012 movie musical "Rock of Ages" pulled in over $14 million on its opening weekend. Maybe it was the large ensemble cast — Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Bryan Cranston, Paul Giamatti, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige and Julianne Hough — that originally helped draw fans into theaters. But the movie ultimately didn't rock on, grossing about $59 million worldwide on a $75 million budget. How could Tom singing in the role of rocker Stacee Jaxx not get people excited? At least we discovered something new about the action star: He can totally belt out a tune!
"Edge of Tomorrow" (2014)
Lifetime domestic gross: $100,206,256
Lifetime worldwide gross: $370,541,256
What's most surprising about 2014's "Edge of Tomorrow" isn't necessarily how much the sci-fi movie made at the box office, but actually how much it cost to make! The production budget of $175 million was Tom's highest to date, and it paid off in the sense that the movie was a critic and fan favorite with around 90 percent fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. But if we're getting technical, it only made around $100 million domestically and just barely doubled its budget with its worldwide haul. As the movie slogan reads, "Live. Die. Repeat." Except maybe next time with a more modest budget and higher returns.
"Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" (2016)
Lifetime domestic gross: $58,697,076
Lifetime worldwide gross: $162,146,076
Tom Cruise originally debuted as the titular former military officer-turned-vigilante of sorts in 2012's "Jack Reacher." The action flick did so-so, making around $80 million domestically on a $60 million budget. When the sequel, "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back," came out in 2016, there was hope for improvement, especially with Tom in his niche playing the no-fear, kick-butt good guy. Surprisingly, with the same budget, the second installment couldn't even break even domestically with around $58 million. It sounds like Tom should make like the movie's title and never go back for a third round.
"The Mummy" (2017)
Lifetime domestic gross: $80,101,125
Lifetime worldwide gross: $407,778,013
2017's "The Mummy" was quite the unexpected flop for Tom Cruise, who has a solid track record for producing money-making action-adventure flicks. The studio forked over $125 million to make the reboot, but it was totally ragged on by critics who only gave it 16 percent positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Ultimately, the movie grossed around $80 million domestically and $407 million worldwide. So when you add up the extra advertising and promotional costs, there's barely any profit on this one. And that's a wrap (pun intended, again)…