But there may be Mr. Cruise, trundling alongside as if the world hasn’t modified in any respect. For him, in some ways, it hasn’t. He was 24 when “High Gun” made him field workplace royalty and he has principally stayed there since, outlasting his contemporaries. He’s the final remaining international star who nonetheless solely makes films for film theaters. He hasn’t ventured into streaming. He hasn’t signed up for a restricted collection. He hasn’t began his personal tequila model.

As a substitute, his promotional tour for “High Gun: Maverick,” which opens on Might 27, will final shut to a few weeks and prolong from Mexico Metropolis to Japan with a cease in Cannes for the annual movie pageant. In London, he walked the pink carpet with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. (The tour would have been longer and extra expansive if Covid protocols didn’t make issues so difficult and if he wasn’t in the course of ending two “Mission Unattainable” films.)

The actor nonetheless instructions first greenback gross, which signifies that along with a big upfront price, he receives a proportion of the field workplace gross from the second the movie hits theaters. He is likely one of the final stars in Hollywood to earn such a sweetheart deal, buoyed by the truth that his 44 movies have introduced in $4.4 billion on the field workplace in the USA and Canada alone, in response to Field Workplace Mojo. (Most stars at this time are paid a wage up entrance, with bonuses if a movie makes sure quantities on the field workplace.) So if his films hit, Mr. Cruise makes cash. And proper now, Hollywood is in dire want of a success.

Audiences have began creeping again to theaters for the reason that pandemic closed them in 2020. The field workplace analyst David Gross stated that the key Hollywood studios have been anticipated to launch roughly 108 movies theatrically this yr, a 22 p.c drop from 2019. Whole field workplace numbers for the yr nonetheless stay down some 40 p.c however the latest performances of “The Batman,” and “Physician Unusual within the Multiverse of Insanity” have theater homeowners optimistic that the viewers demand continues to be there. The query is whether or not the enterprise nonetheless works for something aside from particular effects-laden superhero films.

“They only don’t make films like this anymore,” Brian Robbins, the brand new chief govt of Paramount Footage, the studio that financed and produced the $170 million “High Gun: Maverick,” stated in an interview. “This isn’t a giant visible results film. Tom actually skilled these actors to have the ability to fly and carry out in actual F-18s. Nobody’s ever executed what they’ve executed on this film virtually. Its received scale and scope, and it’s additionally a extremely emotional film. That’s not usually what we see in large tent-pole films at this time.”

A giant field workplace displaying for “High Gun: Maverick,” would rely in no small half on the over-40 crowd. They’re the moviegoers who most fondly recall the unique “High Gun” from 36 years in the past — and they’re those who’ve been probably the most reluctant to return to cinemas.

To strengthen his dedication to the trade, Mr. Cruise despatched a video message to theater operators at their annual convention in Las Vegas late final month. From the set of “Mission Unattainable” in South Africa, standing atop an airborne biplane, Mr. Cruise launched new footage from his spy film and the primary public screening of “High Gun: Maverick.” “Let’s go have an amazing summer season,” he stated, earlier than his director, flying his personal biplane subsequent to Mr. Cruise, shouted “motion” and the 2 planes tore off throughout the sky.