Awards Show Hosts Have Been Piling On Tom Cruise. Oscars Host Jimmy Kimmel Thinks They Should Have A Different Take

Tom Cruise is one of the world’s biggest movie stars and that was proven yet again in 2022 when he starred in one of the biggest movies of the year, or any year, with Top Gun: Maverick. Cruise’s renewed popularity, and the fact that Maverick has been nominated for awards, has made the actor the butt of jokes at various other awards show, but 2023 Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel says he won’t be going after Cruise on stage, as the whole industry owes Cruise thanks.

Tom Cruise has been the but of plenty of jokes over the years, either for the fact that he’s somehow 60 years old but still making Mission: Impossible movies, that he’s a major figure in Scientology, or that he once jumped up and down on Oprah’s couch. Hosts at the Golden Globes and other awards shows have taken aim at Cruise, who has been in attendance at the various shows to support Top Gun: Maverick. Jimmy Kimmel tells THR that he won’t be poking fun at the actor because the way he sees it, Top Gun: Maverick was vital to Hollywood’s longevity. Kimmel said…

No, I mean, listen, the reason that Tom Cruise is being embraced by the movie industry is that, I don’t know if he saved [movies], but he definitely gave them the Heimlich maneuver.

It’s been said by no less than Steven Spielberg that Top Gun: Maverick saved theatrical distribution. It was the first movie since the global pandemic to do over $1 billion at the global box office, and was clearly a movie that got a lot of people who had not been back to theaters inside them again. Even if Spielberg is overselling Maverick’s importance, Kimmel is right that the movie was a significant aid to Hollywood.

Top Gun: Maverick was the highest-grossing movie of the year right up until the end of 2022, and while another movie, Avatar: The Way of Water overtook it in early 2023, Kimmel is of the opinion that Top Gun might still be the more important film. He’s not sure Avatar would have been as successful had Maverick not been there first. He continues…

That movie [Top Gun: Maverick] made a lot of people who may not have been comfortable going to a movie theater, go to the movie theater. And I think that everyone in the movie business should be grateful, including Avatar, which might not have made nearly as much money had that ground not been broken by Top Gun.

Whether or not Top Gun: Maverick leaves the Oscars with awards or not, it is hard to overstate that the film’s success was not just impressive in its own right, but important to the industry. Jimmy Kimmel will certainly poke fun at many in the industry on Oscar night, but it sounds like Tom Cruise will get a pass. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.