Arguably, Tom Cruise running his goddamn ass off is the glue that holds the Mission: Impossible franchise together. And now, we have math to prove it. In celebration of the most recent addition to the franchise, Mission: Impossible - Fallout , Rotten Tomatoes has crunched the numbers to find out exactly how much the man has sprinted throughout his nearly four-decade long career, and whether his running has a net positive effect for his films. Spoiler alert: Tom Cruise's running sells more tickets than Forrest Gump could ever hope to. Our guy is sure to put your Fitbit record to shame because he's run over 24,000 feet on screen.
And every one of those strides is worth its weight in gold, with the study finding a generally positive correlation when comparing the distances he ran for the box office and Tomatometer ratings for all his movies. The data shows that "movies featuring Cruise running more than 1,000 feet have a higher Tomatometer average (a huge 71 percent) than the movies in which he runs less than that, or not at all – and the same movies make more money at the box office, with an average inflated international gross of $538 million." You're making movie execs sweat money during your sprinting scenes!
As if that didn't already convince us that Cruise has some superhuman power over the box office by way of his running abilities, Rotten Tomatoes also discovered that the 56-year-old star — who seemingly hasn't aged since 1986 — is actually running more the older he gets. He ran 3,212 feet in Mission: Impossible III in 2006, which is almost as much as the 3,299 feet he ran total over his twelve movies in the '80s. If you're wondering about the method to this marathon madness, Rotten Tomatoes explained that its numbers were based on a simple calculation: The site counted every running scene in seconds and assumed Cruise was averaging a six-minute mile (or 14.6 feet per second).
There's a detailed analysis of his movies over time on the Rotten Tomatoes blog. But here's a quick snapshot of the Top Tom Cruise Movies (according to his pedometer) Mission: Impossible III – 3,212 feet Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – 3,066 feet War of the Worlds – 1,752 feet Minority Report – 1,562 feet The Firm – 1,241 feet Edge of Tomorrow – 1,065 feet Jack Reacher: Never Go Back – 1,051 feet The Mummy – 1,022 feet Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation – 1,007 feet Vanilla Sky – 832 feet Presumably, this Top Ten list does not include the latest entry, which only just released on July 27.