Box Office News

Tom Cruise's Hair: The Defining Box Office Factor?

By:
Jun 15, 2012 | 11:55am EDT

HollywoodSMG.651x113.jpg

ALTFor an A-List movie star, appearance is everything. How they present themselves in their films plays multiple roles in their continued success; is their specific look connecting with the audience? Are they doing justice to the character? Does the new facade make them look mind-blowingly awesome? A style could make or break a film — and no one knows that better than Tom Cruise.

Cruise isn't a chameleon, but he's never been content sticking to one look. He's a changing entity, thanks to a set of hair that can be manipulated for whatever the case may be. Long, short, virtually nothing at all — Cruise has done it all. But which style has found him the most success? Inspired by the actor's wild metal hair currently on display in Rock of Ages, we take a look back at the box office numbers for some of Cruise's biggest movies, putting them side-by-side with his fluctuating hair. Is the star's success decided by the do? We'll let the numbers speak:

ALTRisky Business (1983)

Hair Length: Short

Grand Total at the Box Office: $63.5 million

ALTLegend (1985)

Hair Length: Long

Grand Total at the Box Office: $15.5 million

ALTTop Gun (1986)

Hair Length: Short

Grand Total at the Box Office: $176.8 million

ALTRain Man (1988)

Hair Length: Short

Grand Total at the Box Office: $172.8 million

ALTBorn on the Fourth of July (1989)

Hair Length: Long

Grand Total at the Box Office: $70 million

ALTDays of Thunder (1990)

Hair Length: Mid-Length

Grand Total at the Box Office: $82.7 million

ALTA Few Good Men (1992)

Hair Length: Short

Grand Total at the Box Office: $141.3 million

ALTInterview with a Vampire (1994)

Hair Length: Long

Grand Total at the Box Office: $105.3 million

ALTJerry Maguire (1996)

Hair Length: Short

Grand Total at the Box Office: $154 million

ALTMagnolia (1999)

Hair Length: Long

Grand Total at the Box Office: $22.5 million

ALTVanilla Sky (2001)

Hair Length: Mid-Length

Grand Total at the Box Office: $100.6 million

ALTMinority Report (2002)

Hair Length: Short

Grand Total at the Box Office: $132.1 million

ALTThe Last Samurai (2003)

Hair Length: Long

Grand Total at the Box Office: $111.1 million

ALTWar of the Worlds (2005)

Hair Length: Short

Grand Total at the Box Office: $234.3 million

ALTLions for Lambs (2007)

Hair Length: Short

Grand Total at the Box Office: $15 million

ALTTropic Thunder (2008)

Hair Length: Nonexistent

Grand Total at the Box Office: $110.5 million

ALTKnight & Day (2010)

Hair Length: Mid-Length

Grand Total at the Box Office: $76.4 million

The Mission: Impossible Franchise

Hair Length: Fluxuating

Mission: Impossible (1996): $181 million

Mission: Impossible 2 (2002): $215.4 million

Mission: Impossible 3 (2006): $134 million

Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (2011): $209.4 million

ALT

Conclusion: While Cruise has seen a number of hits with both crew cuts and lengthy locks, he does his most disappointing business when he straddles the line between the two. Audiences just can't accept indecision! Cruise's big business favors his shorter dos, but his character roles call for the lean, mean, buttkicking machine that he's so easily returned to time and time again. Those who cite Mission: Impossible 2, beware — the low numbers of the third installment could be perceived as a direct response to his long hair look.

Box office numbers provided by Hollywood.com Box Office Analyst Paul Dergarabedian

="font-style:>

More:

Tom Cruise: Is He Too Big for Good Roles?

'Rock of Ages' Star Julianne Hough Talks Tom Cruise and Sexy Set Stories

'Hunger Games Inspires Movie's Wildest Beards

[Photo Credit: Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Dreamworks, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures]

More Box Office News