Let the divorce row begin... Tom Cruise tops Hollywood's rich list with $75m

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

His marriage is over, his 50th birthday party cancelled, but there's still some good news for Tom

Los Angeles

The stakes in Tom Cruise's increasingly ugly divorce battle were raised further yesterday with news that the actor can once more claim to be Hollywood's best-paid star, earning an estimated $75m (£50m) in the past year.

Research by Forbes, which publishes an annual list of the film industry's biggest incomes, suggests that Cruise had more than twice the financial success of his nearest rivals Leonardo DiCaprio and Adam Sandler, who each had to make do with $37m (£24.6m).

Figures for the year to May laid bare what the magazine called a "stellar year" for the actor after the success of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, which he starred in and produced, and which earned just under $700m at the box office against a budget of $145m.

Cruise's success will be central to any settlement with his estranged third wife Katie Holmes, 33, who filed for divorce in New York last week, apparently citing "irreconcilable differences" over whether their daughter Suri, six, should be introduced to the Scientology religion Cruise follows.

The couple's pre-nuptial agreement, signed in 2006, is thought to stipulate that Holmes should receive $3m for each year of their marriage, but it remains for a judge to deal with the thorny matter of child maintenance.

Typically, New York courts calculate child support at 17 per cent of a couple's overall income. Jeff Landers, a divorce lawyerquoted by Forbes, said that did not necessarily mean Holmes would end up enjoying a $9m-a-year settlement. "There are caps," he said. "After the first $400,000 in earnings, it's up to the judge's discretion."

Cruise, who reportedly cancelled his 50th birthday celebrations on Tuesday, wants the case to be heard in Los Angeles, where courts are more likely to grant joint custody of a divorced couple's children. New York, where Holmes filed her petition, is more likely to give her control of Suri.

Either way, the divorce is prompting unrelenting scrutiny of Cruise's relationship with the controversial Church of Scientology, whose leader David Miscavige officiated at his wedding. Holmes lost faith in the church after her "mentor" there, Jessica Davis, wife of its former spokesman Tommy, withdrew from her day job after she was diagnosed with cancer.

Damage to Cruise's brand could have wider financial repercussions. He has been in Iceland filming Oblivion, an action movie funded by Universal Pictures. It is due to hit cinemas in April and has an estimated production budget of $200m. However, to begin to turn a profit, once marketing costs and other overheads are taken into account, a studio film must typically return at least twice its budget.

Previous setbacks in Cruise's private life have seemed to damage his earning potential. In 2005, shortly after he began dating Holmes, the actor gave an infamous interview to Oprah Winfrey in which he made controversial comments about anti-depressants before leaping on her sofa in order to illustrate the happy state of his love-life. Shortly afterwards, he spoke about Scientology with the US television anchorman Matt Lauer.

So began a long run of films which, by Cruise's own standards, disappointed at the box office. They included Mission Impossible 3, Valkyrie and 2010's Knight And Day, a movie which Paramount chose to market by removing Cruise's photograph from its US publicity posters, in favour of a silhouette. However, Cruise is front and centre of PR materials for the upcoming Jack Reacher, which is scheduled to open at Christmas.

Unveiling the trailer this week, a spokesman for Paramount said that Cruise remained "a huge movie star for the right reason".

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis