Tom Cruise led Forbes' annual list of the 100 highest paid actors released on Tuesday, earning nearly twice that of second place Leonardo DiCaprio and recapturing his spot among Hollywood's top-earning performers after his recent blockbuster movie, the Dubai-set Mission: Impossible.
Cruise, who turned 50 on Tuesday amid speculation over whether his box office pull could be hurt by his impending divorce from Katie Holmes, which was revealed late last week, earned $75 million between May 2011 and May 2012, Forbes said.
The star is coming under close scrutiny after Holmes filed for divorce and sought sole custody of their young daughter, Suri. Some have questioned his affiliation with the Church of Scientology, including media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who likened its practices to a cult.
Forbes said Cruise in particular had enjoyed a successful year after Mission Impossible — Ghost Protocol, released last December, earned more than $700 million at global box offices.
His career resurgence followed negative publicity several years ago due to a couch-jumping episode on Oprah Winfrey's talk show and some rambling thoughts on Scientology in media interviews and in a YouTube video.
Last year’s top earner DiCaprio, 37, tied for second place on the list with funnyman Adam Sandler, 45, both with $37 million.
DiCaprio’s earnings dropped after his 2010 Inception, grossed $825 million at the global box office while his last film, J. Edgar disappointed at the box office. Sandler's income included his paycheck from 2011 film Jack and Jill.
Former professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, 40, came in fourth, earning $36 million including from his film Fast Five that took in $626 million worldwide, and at No. 5 was comedian Ben Stiller with $33 million, whose next film The Watch about a group of Neighbourhood Watch dads, is due for release in July.
In compiling the list, Forbes considers factors including upfront pay, profit participation, residuals, endorsements and advertising work.