Steven Spielberg tells Tom Cruise he 'saved Hollywood's a**' and 'the entire theatrical industry'
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Tom Cruise received some high praise from none other than Steven Spielberg, who told the actor he 'saved Hollywood's a**' and the 'entire theatrical industry' with his latest film.
The pair, who have worked together on a number of films including 2002's Minority Report, came face-to-face at the 2023 Oscars Nominee Luncheon where they embraced and exchanged a few kind words.
Rumour has it that Cruise and the Hollywood director fell out after a disagreement following the making of War of The Worlds. If this is true, it's clearly all water under the bridge.
During their meeting at the preview party on Monday (February 13), Spielberg had some positive feedback to share for Cruise over Top Gun: Maverick. Take a look:
FYI, the long-awaited sequel, which dropped in May last year, was a resounding success, beating all kinds of box office records.
As well as being the 12th highest grossing movie of all time, it's the 60-year-old actor's most successful flick, achieving the best opening weekend of his career with an incredible $100 million.
It reached a whopping $1.48 billion in the global box office, and is widely credited as marking Cruise's 'comeback' in Hollywood.
Clearly Spielberg is impressed by the feat, telling him: "You got the milestone... you saved Hollywood's a**."
Although Cruise appears to modestly shake his head, the filmmaker insists: "Seriously, Maverick might have saved the entire theatrical industry."
To be fair, this isn't the first time these comments have been made.
As said by film writer Scott Mendelson for Forbes, Top Gun: Maverick accounted for 23% of the domestic summer movie line-up while also managing to boost theatrical earnings without being a Marvel/DC property.
"The commercial reception of Tom Cruise’s legacy sequel was the summer movie miracle theaters needed," he wrote.
"Its domestic and global grosses represented miracle #1. Its pull among irregular moviegoers was miracle #2. If those moviegoers stick around, that’ll be miracle #3."
That being said, people have been busy debating Spielberg's comments on social media, with many bringing up Spider-Man: No Way Home.
"Man forgot that Spider-Man: No Way Home almost made $2 bil lmao, but sure Tom Cruise saved movie theaters," wrote one.
Another said, "A rather weird claim given that Spider-Man raked in $2 billion three months before TGM came out but okay then."
However, others were on hand to point out the other side of the debate.
"What Spielberg is saying is that Top Gun: Maverick made billions by being and old school blockbuster not a superhero movie," said one person in response.
Another wrote: "Before everyone starts crying, recall that a huge factor of Top Gun: Maverick’s success was due to a larger turnout from older audiences that had otherwise been absent from theatrical films until then.
"This is the remaining audience that movie theaters needed to be sustainable."
Whether you agree with this sentiment or not, it's clear what Spielberg's take on the matter is.