Tom Cruise’s 15 Biggest Movies, Ranked (According To The Budget)

Tom Cruise's 15 Biggest Movies, Ranked (According To The Budget)

Tom Cruise is perhaps the biggest movie star in the world, and he has remained as such for decades. Few actors are as charismatic as Cruise, and few actors have enjoyed such a consistently strong and popular career. Bursting onto the scene in the early 80s, Cruise quickly established himself as one of Hollywood’s greatest leading men, and he proceeded to dominate every decade that followed.

Cruise has mixed it up, starring in both dramas and high octane blockbusters. It’s the latter he’s particularly known for, and most Cruise productions come equipped with an exorbitantly high price tag. These are some of the most expensive.

Updated on May 30th, 2022, by Shawn S. Lealos: With Tom Cruise bringing back one of his most beloved franchises in Top Gun: Maverick, there is likely a challenger to the movie that makes the most money at the box office. That would be a big deal, as Cruise remains an actor who can sell a movie based on his name, which is why he can continue to get a lot of money to make his movies. What is impressive is that, even with all the areal stunts and reshoots to make Cruise happy, that movie was still not the highest-budgeted movie in the star actor’s career. With that said, Cruise has more movies that cost over $100 million than most actors without relying on massive properties like the MCU to fall back on.


15 Valkyrie (2008) – $90 Million

Colonel Claus looks out of a window in Valkyrie

Streaming now on Fubo, Showtime, Roku, Tubi, Kanopy, Redbox, and DirecTV.

Bryan Singer was riding high thanks to his successful X-Men franchise. This gave him the chance to make a movie based on Operation Valkyrie in World War II and he got Tom Cruise to play one of the key plotters in a German attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler and take control of the country.

RELATED: Every Tom Cruise Movie Written By Christopher McQuarrie, Ranked By IMDb

The production budget was set at $80 million, with two-thirds of the budget to be spent in Germany. Thanks to problems in production, more money was needed to finish the production. The box office was over $200 million, but it was a disappointment in the United States, where it only earned $83 million.

14 Tropic Thunder (2008) – $92 Million

Streaming now on Paramount+ and Hoopla.

Tom Cruise isn’t in Tropic Thunder for long, but he makes one heck of an impression as Les Grossman. It’s not often that Cruise gets to flex his comedic muscles, but Ben Stiller gave him the opportunity in Tropic Thunder, and a nearly-unrecognizable Cruise predictably knocked it out of the park.

Despite being a comedy, Tropic Thunder came equipped with a hefty $92 million budget, which was undoubtedly due to the extravagant action scenes and an incredible cast of A-list stars including Cruise, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., and Matthew McConaughey.

13 Minority Report (2002) – $102 Million

Streaming now on Showtime and Spectrum on Demand.

Minority Report was Tom Cruise’s first collaboration with director Steven Spielberg. While not one of Spielberg’s most popular movies, Minority Report was nevertheless critically acclaimed and is often regarded as one of the best science fiction films of the 2000s.

Like most science fiction movies — and like most Spielberg movies — Minority Report came equipped with a hefty budget, with most estimates placing it at $102 million. However, when adjusted for inflation, the budget is nearer to $150 million.

12 Knight And Day (2010) – $117 Million

Roy holding on to a moving car's windshield in Knight and Day

Streaming now on Fubo, AMC+, DirecTV, and Spectrum on Demand.

Knight and Day was a box office success, but it only received average reviews and is a mostly forgotten Tom Cruise action movie. The movie brought Tom Cruise together with Cameron Diaz for the action-comedy. The movie was a change for director James Mangold, who normally makes dramas and more serious action movies.

Cruise stars as an eccentric secret agent on the run from the CIA while Diaz is a classic car restorer who ends up involved with him. The movie had a long development and finally got made when Cruise altered his deal. The movie ended up making $262 million, making a profit.

11 Mission: Impossible II (2000) – $120 Million

mission impossible 2

Streaming now on Paramount+ and Pluto TV.

After the first Mission: Impossible movie was a huge success, the studio threw a lot more money into the second movie, with John Woo signed as the director. That first movie had a relatively low $80 million budget with a $457 million box office take.

This allowed the production budget to increase by $40 million for the sequel and the box office jumped as well. The budget worked because the movie went on to have the fourth-highest Wednesday opening at that time and helped the Mission: Impossible franchise move on to even bigger and better success.

10 Oblivion (2013): $120 Million

Tom Cruise in Oblivion

Streaming now on HBO Max, Max Go, DirecTV, and Spectrum on Demand.

It’s not often that Cruise ventures into science fiction, but he did it again in 2013 with Oblivion. Based on an unpublished graphic novel by Joseph Kosinski—and also directed by him—the movie stars Tom Cruise as Jack Harper, a drone technician who battles against alien threats.

RELATED: Tom Cruise’s 10 Most Memorable Characters

As Oblivion depicts a futuristic, war-ravaged planet Earth, it required a slew of visual effects to accurately depict the landscapes. It’s estimated that the movie’s budget came in at a whopping $120 million.

9 War Of The Worlds (2005) – $132 Million

Streaming now on Netflix and Paramount+.

The second Cruise-Spielberg collaboration, War of the Worlds was released in 2005 to a mixed critical reception. While most people loved the visual effects and scary alien invasion-themed story, many were torn on the quality of the movie’s anticlimactic ending.

Regardless, Spielberg’s filmmaking earned widespread praise. Working with a reported budget of $132 million, Spielberg and his team were able to craft one of the most convincing and frightening alien invasions in movie history.

8 The Last Samurai (2003) – $140 Million

Tom Cruise and Koyuki Kato in The Last Samurai

Streaming now on Netflix.

The Last Samurai was a Tom Cruis historical epic released in 2003. Directed by Edward Zwick, the movie tells the story of a U.S. military man who comes into contact with samurai warriors in 19th-century Japan. The movie was based on the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877 and the westernization of Japan.

The movie was shot in New Zealand but also had several scenes shot in Japan. The wide variety of locations helped rise the budget to $140 million. The movie had good reviews and ended up making $456 million while picking up four Oscar nominations.

7 Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) – $145 Million

Streaming now on Paramount+, FX Now, DirecTV, and Spectrum on Demand.

As expensive as Cruise’s science fiction films are, they have nothing on the Mission: Impossible movies. Serving as the fourth installment in the franchise, Ghost Protocol received widespread praise, mainly for Brad Bird’s kinetic direction—not to mention the iconic Burj Khalifa sequence.

Thirty minutes of the film were shot with IMAX cameras, and principal photography spanned places like Budapest, Mumbai, and Moscow, resulting in a reported $145 million budget.

6 Mission: Impossible III (2006) – $150 Million

Streaming now on Fubo, Showtime, DirecTV, and Spectrum on Demand.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, Mission: Impossible III was the movie that made the Mission: Impossible series the titan it is today. While the first two movies were relatively popular, it was Mission: Impossible III that proved the series could compete with the likes of James Bond, and its incredible action sequences heralded the even better action sequences that were to come.

Funnily enough, this movie was actually more expensive than Ghost Protocol, costing an estimated $150 million.

5 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) – $150 Million

Streaming now on Paramount+, FX Now, DirecTV, and Spectrum on Demand.

The Mission: Impossible series consistently one-ups itself, and Rogue Nation certainly continued that tradition. Serving as the sequel to Ghost Protocol, Rogue Nation visited the likes of Austria, Morocco, and London. It also one-upped Ghost Protocol’s Burj Khalifa sequence with Tom Cruise riding on the side of a military transport aircraft.

RELATED: Every Mission: Impossible Movie, Ranked (According To IMDb)

It seems as if all Mission: Impossible films are made within a tight budgetary window, as Rogue Nation was also produced for a reported $150 million.

4 Top Gun: Maverick (2022) – $170 Million

Tom Cruise in Top Gun Maverick with Iceman portrait

Now available in theaters. 

It was 36 years between the movie Top Gun and its sequel Top Gun: Maverick. It was also a long wait, as the movie was supposed to hit theaters in 2019 but was held back until 2022 thanks to the pandemic shutting down Hollywood and most movie theaters starting in 2020.

It is also interesting to look at the budgets. The first Top Gun movie, released in 1986, had a $10 million budget and made $357 million. The second movie’s budget was $170 million and made over $260 million in its first weekend alone.

3 Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) – $178 Million

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Fallout

Streaming now on Paramount+, FX Now, DirecTV, and Spectrum on Demand.

2018 saw the release of the sixth Mission: Impossible film. Subtitled Fallout, many fans and critics agreed that it was the best Mission: Impossible film yet, and director Christopher McQuarrie signed on to do two more movies, one of them being Mission: Impossible 7, which is currently filming through the pandemic.

With an all-star cast of A-list celebrities and the most bombastic stunts of the series, Fallout came equipped with an exorbitant $178 million price tag, by far the most expensive of the Mission: Impossible franchise.

2 Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) – $178 Million

Tom Cruise Edge of Tomorrow

Available to rent now on DirecTV, Apple TV, Google Play, Prime Video,  Vudu, Microsoft, Redbox, AMC on Demand, and YouTube.

In 2014, Tom Cruise starred in yet another science fiction film, Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow (also known as Live Die Repeat). Co-written by Christopher McQuarrie and adapted from the Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill, Edge of Tomorrow is essentially Groundhog Day with aliens.

Cruise plays Major William Cage, a man who continuously “restarts” at the Heathrow Airport military base after dying in battle. Like Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Edge of Tomorrow was produced for a reported $178 million, and it ended up as one of Cruise’s best sci-fi movies.

1 The Mummy (2017) – $195 Million

Tom Cruise as Nick Morton in The Mummy

Streaming now on Fubo, FX Now, DirecTV, and Spectrum on Demand.

Serving as a reboot of The Mummy franchise, this movie was intended to begin the extended Dark Universe, which would reboot all the classic Universal monster movies of old. Unfortunately, the movie was an abject failure that completely obliterated any plans or hopes of continuing the Dark Universe.

While the exact budget is unknown, it is estimated that production costs ran as high as $195 million. This makes it the most expensive film of Tom Cruise’s career, and also his biggest bomb.

NEXT: Every Classic Universal Monster, Ranked By Scariness

Split image of Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump, Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, and Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight

The 30 Best Movies Of All Time (According To IMDb)

About The Author

Nathan Sharp
(852 Articles Published)

Nathan Sharp is a writer from outside Toronto, Ontario. He has a love of movies and television, having enjoyed them for more than twenty years. His preferences include drama, action, and horror, with the former being a particular point of interest and fascination.

He also has a love of video games, particularly those of Rockstar.

Whether it be about film, television, or video games, Nathan loves a good discussion and has written hundreds of articles for Screen Rant.

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