Tom Cruise is enjoying a nice upswing in his career right now, thanks to the box office dominance of Mission: Impossible - Fallout. That victory comes after Cruise had a very volatile year in 2017, with two big underperforming films (The Mummy, American Made). So what is it that makes Tom Cruise win as opposed to falling short (pun) at the box office? A new study may have revealed that answer, and in a word it is: running.
Rotten Tomatoes counted up the amount running steps Tom Cruise takes per movie and found something interesting: Cruises box office returns seem to be directly related to how much he runs in a movie! You can check out the breakdown, below, as per Rotten Tomatoes:
"The biggest trend? Movies featuring Cruise running more than 1,000 feet have a higher Tomatometer average (a huge 71%) than the movies in which he runs less than that, or not at all – and the same movies make more money at the box office, with an average inflated international gross of $538 million. We also found that the age-defying star has been increasing his movie running as he gets older: he covered almost the same amount of ground in 2006's Mission: Impossible III (3,212 feet) than he did in the entirety of the 1980s (12 movies, 3,299 feet ran), and five of his top 10 running films were released after 2010 – the year he would turn 48."
- Mission: Impossible III – 3,212 feet
- Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – 3,066 feet
- War of the Worlds – 1,752 feet
- Minority Report – 1,562 feet
- The Firm – 1,241 feet
- Edge of Tomorrow – 1,065 feet
- Jack Reacher: Never Go Back – 1,051 feet
- The Mummy – 1,022 feet
- Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation – 1,007 feet
- Vanilla Sky – 832 feet
Tom Cruise movies with no running: Magnolia (1999) | Lions for Lambs (2007) | Tropic Thunder (2008) | Valkyrie (2008)
Tom Cruise movies with short sprints (0 - 500 Ft): Endless Love (1981) |Taps (1981) | Losin' It (1983) | The Outsiders (1983) | Risky Business (1983) | Legend (1985) | Top Gun (1986) | The Color on Money (1986) | Rain Man (1988) | Cocktail (1988) | Days of Thunder (1990) | A Few Good Men (1992) | Far and Away (1992) | Interview With the Vampire (1994) | Jerry Maguire (1996) | Eyes Wide Shut (1999) | The Last Samurai (2003) | Rock of Ages (2012) | Jack Reacher (2012) | American Made (2017)
Tom Cruise movies with mid-distance running (501 - 1K Ft): All the Right Moves (1983) | Born on the Fourth of July (1989) | Mission: Impossible (1996) | Mission: Impossible 2 (2000) | Vanilla Sky (2001) | Collateral (2004) | Knight and Day (2010) | Oblivion (2013)
Tom Cruise movies with long runs (1001+ Ft): The Firm (1993) | Minority Report (2002) | War of the Worlds (2005) | Mission: Impossible III (2006) | Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011) | Edge of Tomorrow (2014) | Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) | Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) | The Mummy (2017)4comments
Stepping back and looking at all the data above, what you see is the progression of a young actor who went after a variety of roles (action, mystery, comedy, drama, awards prestige), slowly but surely identifying his niche (action) and settling into it. It seems like Cruise came out of a muddled late-90s / early-00s stall with some middle-aged vigor, as he's filled the mid-2000s - mid-2010s almost exclusively with roles that demand great physical acting and stuntwork on his part.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is earning strong reviews and box office returns due in large part to its stunt work action, which some are calling the best of the series, so far. It will be interesting to see just how much Tom ran in the film, after all of the box office receipts are tallied.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is now in theaters.