Cruise Controls Box Office

Tom Cruise may be a magnet for controversy lately, but he's still the king of the box office.

His "War Of The Worlds" earned more than $77 million over the holiday weekend, and has taken in over $113 million since it opened six days ago.

"Worlds" had the second-best four-day opening ever over the Fourth of July weekend, behind only "Spider-Man 2."

"Batman Begins" and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" rounded out the top three this weekend.

Combined, Cruise's films have taken in more than $5 billion at the worldwide box office.

Early Showentertainment contributor Jess Cagle, who is also a senior editor at People magazine, notes Cruise has been a consistent, huge draw almost from the beginning of his career.

Since his star-making turn in "Risky Business," Cagle points out, Cruise has played a naval flying ace in "Top Gun," a vampire in "Interview With the Vampire," a lawyer in "A Few Good Men," and a contract killer in "Collateral."

Just don't ask him which role he likes best.

"These movies," he told Cagle, "I give my life. I care about them when I am making them. The experience I've had making them, you know, it's different, 'cause it's my life. Do you know what I mean? It's like saying, 'Which child do you like most?' "

But, notes Cagle, audiences have spoken at the box office.

Cruise's top moneymakers are the two "Mission: Impossible" films.

Close behind is 1986's "Top Gun," which took in more than $176 million.

Two years later, "Rain Man" won four Oscars, including Best Picture. It also made $172 million.

"The Firm," in 1993, was based on the John Grisham best seller and took in $158 million.

And 1996's "Jerry Maguire" got Cruise a Best Actor Oscar nomination, and grossed $154 million.

"People have talked to me about different films that they've preferred," Cruise says. "They would come up to me, and they liked this movie, and they liked that movie. They like comedy, and they liked sci-fi adventure or whatever, action or love stories. For me, I don't just have one (favorite)."

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