Barring some dramatic turning of the tide, DiCaprio is now secure in his place as Hollywood’s unimpeachable golden boy, while Cruise, the previous incumbent, is in danger of resembling the court jester. On paper, the pair still occupy similar territory. They aren’t separated by much more than age (Cruise is 12 years older than DiCaprio) and a few million dollars. With two legitimate recent hits behind him in Shutter Island and Inception, DiCaprio can expect $28m per movie, while Cruise is still able to command $22m a throw. (Forbes magazine notes that “Cruise’s career has been rocky lately”, but attributes his ongoing fortune to revenue from “a string of older hits that constantly play on TV”.) Both men have sought out many of the same directors including Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg; DiCaprio is also close friends with Michael Mann, who cast Cruise in a rare bad-guy role in Collateral.
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