Steven Spielberg is said to be telling Tom Cruise that the actor saved the Hollywood film

Steven Spielberg is said to be telling Tom Cruise that the actor saved the Hollywood film ...

Because of 'Top Gun: Maverick,' Steven Spielberg thinks theaters are expanding.

At the Academy Awards nominees luncheon, the "Fabelmans" writer-director appears to have told Tom Cruise that the "Top Gun" actor-producer "got the milestone" of the year.

In a video that was widely shared on Twitter, Spielberg said, "You saved Hollywood's ass." "And, you might have saved theatrical distribution. Seriously. 'Maverick' might have saved the whole theatrical industry." (You may view the video below.)

Cruise's participation in the Academy Award nominations' annual daytime gathering was a surprise to most attendees. He's been largely absent from the awards circuit and so became the focal point of attention at the event, with nominees like Ke Huy Quan and Angela Bassett stopping him to say hi and snap pictures.

Cruise and Spielberg have collaborated on two films, "Minority Report" (2002) and "War of the Worlds" (2005).

“Top Gun: Maverick,” Cruise's best-picture nominee, has grossed $1.48 billion at the worldwide box office since its release last May. It became the most-watched movie premiere on Paramount+, after the epidemic.

Paramount allegedly rejected streamers' requests to buy "Maverick," shutting out Netflix and Apple to instead have a theatrical release. "Top Gun: Maverick" is second globally only to "Avatar: The Way of Water."

The Best Picture Oscar nominees for "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Avatar: The Way of Water" were previously described as inspiring steps for cinema — and particularly theatrical releases. "I'm really encouraged by that," Spielberg told Deadline.

Spielberg told The New York Times in an earlier interview that the epidemic "created an opportunity for streaming platforms to increase their subscriptions to new highs," and also throw some of their best filmmaker friends under the bus because their films were unceremoniously not released on theatrical screens.

"Big sequels," according to the author, "still have a place in society," especially since they are well-known as animated films and horror films as a whole.

Spielberg is up for Best Director for 'The Fabelmans' this year, as well as Best Picture as a producer.