Science Says: The More Tom Cruise Runs, The Better His Movies Do

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Have you ever noticed that Tom Cruise is almost always running in his films? There’s apparently a good reason for it and it has nothing to do with keeping in shape, but rather his bank account.

The good folks over at Rotten Tomatoes noticed the odd trend of Cruise continually sprinting, but even more strange was the more the actor ran, the better his movies did financially.

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From dashing through downtown New York in Vanilla Sky to outrunning an alien invasion in War of the Worlds to darting through a magical forest in Legend, the man will just not give it up. In fact, when you combine every Tom Cruise film ever produced, Rotten Tomatoes says the Top Gun star has run over 24,000 feet (or the equivalent of 4.5 miles).

“The methodology was simple, if time-consuming: We counted every instance of Cruise’s running on screen, in seconds, and then calculated the distances ran by assuming he is clocking a six-minute mile (14.6 feet per second). The result is a list of estimated distances for each film that we believe is the solidest you’ll find in the online canon of Tom Cruise Running Materials. We then split his movies into four different distance categories, ranging from Zero Feet all the way to 1,000-Plus Feet, to spot the trends.”

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The data quickly showed that movies featuring Cruise running more than 1,000 feet did remarkably better than those in which he didn’t. Both Mission: Impossible III and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Cruise’s top two earning box office films, featured the actor running significantly more than any other and not shockingly, are his two highest rated using the famed Tomatometer.

Just imagine how well Forrest Gump would have done in theaters, had they cast Tom Cruise over Tom Hanks.