Cruise, who is currently in the process of divorcing wife Katie Holmes, earned $75 million (£48 million) between May 2011 and May 2012 thanks to his involvement in last year's box office hit Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.
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The actor is $38 million ahead of his closest rivals, last year's winner Leonardo DiCaprio and Adam Sandler, who tied in second place with earnings of $37 million over the last three months.
Dwayne Johnson's franchise success in Fast Five and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island places him in fourth place with $36 million, while comedy star Ben Stiller's upcoming roles in The Watch and the Madagascar sequel put him in fifth place.
The Dictator star Sacha Baron Cohen, Johnny Depp and Will Smith all pocketed $30 million to share sixth spot ahead of Contraband and Ted star Mark Wahlberg.
Taylor Lautner's involvement in the Twilight franchise and his leading man role in Abduction put him in tenth place with $26.5 million.
This year's winner Cruise has two high-profile releases in the pipeline for the next 12 months: Jack Reacher and the science fiction movie Oblivion.