Tom Cruise Saved Ray-Ban from Going Bankrupt With Iconic $63.5M Movie Before Spiking Naval Recruitment by 500% With Top Gun

Tom Cruise Saved Ray-Ban from Going Bankrupt With Iconic $63.5M Movie Before Spiking Naval Recruitment by 500% With Top Gun

Tom Cruise and his aviators have been one of the most iconic pairings in the history of Hollywood. May it be Cruise sporting the Ray-Ban as a pilot in Top Gun or dancing in his underwear with sunglasses on in his 1983 movie Risky Business. There is no doubt that aviators became a huge fashion statement owing to the Mission Impossible actor’s immense popularity.

Tom Cruise in a still from Top Gun: Maverick
Tom Cruise in a still from Top Gun: Maverick

But what many don’t know is how a pants-free Tom Cruise actually helped in saving Ray-Ban sales back in the 1980s.

Crafted by John Jacob Bausch, the anti-glare aviation glasses were created for pilots who complained of encountering extreme glare while gliding above high altitudes. However, soon, the UV rays banning aviators made their way to Hollywood with Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, and Marlon Brando, hence, becoming a style statement.

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How did Tom Cruise serve as a life raft for Ray-Ban?

Unfortunately, in the early 1980s, chunky and oversized accessories became all the hype. And amidst this major fashion shift, Ray-Ban sales began plummeting. And just then, Hollywood once again came to the organization’s rescue as a pants-free Tom Cruise helped shoot up the sales of the glasses.

In his 1983 movie Risky Business, Cruise is seen sporting the iconic Wayfarers. A critical and commercial hit, the movie opened in around 670 theatres and registered a box office collection of $63.5 million domestically.

And even though Cruise was not yet quite the star he was about the become in the upcoming years, the scene where he dances to ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’ in his underwear turned out to be legendary.

Tom Cruise Risky Business
Tom Cruise in Risky Business

As a result of which, the sales of the aviator company shot up by 50% which saved the chunky Wayfarer glasses from being discontinued.

READ MORE: 5 Lowest Grossing Tom Cruise Movies That Earned Lesser Than His Massive ‘Top Gun 2’ Salary

How the 80-year-old company experienced a full-circle moment 

For decades, the Ray-Ban aviators have been a prominent style statement. However, when crafted during World War II by Bausch & Lomb Optical Company, the glasses were made to solve the issues faced by fighter pilots.

When the US Military approached the company with concerns like headaches and vision problems at high altitudes, the teardrop-shaped lenses made with green glass that fit comfortably around the eye turned out to be the perfect solution for fighter pilots.

And continuing the legacy of the Anti-glare vision glasses that banned UV rays, Ray-Ban experienced a full-circle moment when Tom Cruise brought the brand back to its military roots with Top Gun.

Tom Cruise in Top Gun 2
Tom Cruise in Top Gun Maverick 2022

A cult classic, the movie was a huge success among the audiences. So much so that Cruise’s U.S. Navy character boosted real-life naval recruitments by 500% after the movie’s release. And owing to this insane success, almost 80 years after the incorporation of the company, Ray-Ban saw a whopping 40% increase in its sales, while linking the glasses with its military roots.

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And now, with the release of the movie’s sequel Top Gun: Maverick in 2022, it’s no surprise that the movie boosted the Aviator sunglasses sales yet again because of its global success.

Source: CBC

Written by Devyani Sharma

With a portfolio of over 600 articles, Devyani Sharma is a freelance writer working in the Entertainment and Sports niche. With a Master's Degree in English literature, Devyani places great importance on the power of words and their ability to connect with readers. When not busy watching sci-fi movies, action thrillers and comedies, Devyani indulges in her love for fiction novels and writing about NASCAR races.