Tom Cruise Movie Success Linked To Tom Cruise Running, According To Science

Correlation does not imply causation.

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Now Playing: Mission Impossible - Tom Cruise’s 10 Craziest Stunts From The Series

Tom Cruise pulls off some wild stunts in Mission Impossible films, including the recent Mission Impossible Fallout. But it's another kind of physical feat that may be the strongest indicator of success. A very serious study from Rotten Tomatoes concludes that box office success correlates directly with how much Tom Cruise runs.

The study tabulated all of Tom Cruise's on-screen sprints, then calculated them into distances as measured against a six-minute mile. Then the films were split into four categories, based on how much distance he covered per film: zero feet, 1-500 feet, 501-1,000 feet, and 1,000+ feet. Once all the numbers were crunched and the steps counted, a pattern emerged: movies where Cruise spent more time cruising made more money at the box office and scored a higher critical review average to boot.

The zero feet category is populated by dramas like Magnolia and Valkyrie, whereas short-distance running is largely made up of older movies like Risky Business, Days of Thunder, and Rain Man. The longer-distance running category has some of the older Mission Impossible movies mixed with recent action films, and the longest-distance is composed almost entirely of recent action movies. It turns out Cruise is running a lot more on film as he gets older.

The top ten for distance traveled has three Mission Impossible films on it--Mission Impossible 3, Ghost Protocol, and Rogue Nation--along with recent action movies like Edge of Tomorrow and The Mummy. So chalk it up to his star power increasing with age or big-budget action movies having more reason to spur on an exciting on-foot chase sequence. Whatever the cause, the data is clear. Tom Cruise running makes bank. It's science.

Check out GameSpot's own Mission Impossible Fallout review for more on his latest daring-do.

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