Top Gun Maverick: Record-Breaking Collection and Stellar Cast

With an astounding $124 million domestic and $151 million international box-office collection. The non-superhero film manages to rake in an obscene amount of money. “Top Gun: Maverick” (by Paramount Pictures) is a global hit. The foreign interest in Skydance is a co-producer of this sequel, which centers on the American military. It arrives decades after the original and is a credit to its star. As well as top-flight marketing that famously includes its Cannes premiere. This is also Tom Cruise’s biggest opening ever, including adjustments for inflation.

More importantly, Cruise’s return to the character that propelled him into superstardom 36 years ago also represents a significant advancement for theatre recovery.

It is the highest initial gross for any non-comic book movie since December 2019. Propelling its success is an audience that’s been slow to return. It is also that rarest of creatures: a standalone film propelled by a star’s draw.

Though not the biggest Memorial Day opening, “Maverick” might have had the highest average per-ticket price of any blockbuster (thanks to recent increases, including premium showings).

“Maverick” had by far the most interest in older audiences of any film in the Covid era. The majority (55 percent were over 35. That is far different from most top-grossing films, even in pre-Covid times. For the current environment, it is a major victory.

Critics say it is the ‘most satisfying summer action film since Mission Impossible Fallout. 36 years after the original film, Cruise returns as Pete Mitchell aka Maverick, and takes to the skies. The film is directed by Joseph Kosinski and stars Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Connelly, and Ed Harris.

Original Top Gun ( 1998)

Top Gun (1998) Poster
Top Gun (1998) Poster/ Credit: Youtube 

Here is the synopsis of Top Gun( 1998) for you to get a background on the OG film. The Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School is where the best of the best train to refine their elite flying skills. When hotshot fighter pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise) is sent to school, his reckless attitude and cocky demeanor put him at odds with the other pilots. Especially the cool and collected Iceman (Val Kilmer). But Maverick isn’t only competing to be the top fighter pilot, he’s also fighting for the attention of his beautiful flight instructor, Charlotte Blackwood (Kelly McGillis).

Peculiar Nature of Top Gun

Tom Cruise as Pete Mitchell
Tom Cruise as Pete Mitchell/ Credit: The Atlantic

The original “Top Gun” is a study in Hollywood moviemaking of a certain era. An era captured in the pages of Variety as the movie was birthed starting in mid-1983. Until its triumphant release by Paramount Pictures three years later.

The movie came together during the period when Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer were at the peak of their powers. As red-hot producers of culture-shaking films such as 1983’s “Flashdance” and 1984’s “Beverly Hills Cop.” The film that the pair crafted with numerous screenwriters (more on that in the clips), director Tony Scott and veteran producer Bill Badolato. They launched Tom Cruise to a new level of stardom and created a legacy sturdy enough for Cruise, Bruckheimer, and Paramount to leap back to the top of the box office nearly 40 years later with the long-delayed, made-for-movie-screen sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.”

The Top Gun  Maverick Opening Weekend Success

Pete Mitchell's reaction capturing the future box-office success
Pete Mitchell’s reaction captures future box-office success/ Credit: Monochrome Watches

Tom Cruise is thankful to his fans after Top Gun: Maverick soared to new heights at the box office.

On Tuesday, the actor, 59, reacted to the film’s box office success on Twitter.

“Thank you to everyone who saw #TopGun: Maverick and helped make it a historic opening weekend,” he shared.

Top Gun: Maverick — a sequel to 1986 original — earned an estimated $124 million at the domestic box office over the weekend. This also marks Cruise’s biggest opening weekend to date, according to Variety.

Including Monday’s tally, the film earned an estimated $156 million. Mainly, for its four-day opening weekend, making it the biggest opening over the Memorial Day weekend, CNN reported. It surpassed Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which made $153 million in 2007.

Before the film’s release, Cruise’s highest opening weekend was War of the Worlds, which grossed $64 million upon its debut back in 2005. This film still haunts my dreams.

Not a Streaming Release

Top Gun: Maverick Cast on Red Carpet at the Cannes Film Festival Premiere of the film
Top Gun: Maverick Cast on Red Carpet at the Cannes Film Festival Premiere of the film/ Credit: Youtube 

Last month, at the Cannes Film Festival, Cruise revealed why he “never” considered a streaming release for Top Gun: Maverick. Despite delays due to the pandemic.

“That was never going to happen. Ever,” said Cruise of the sequel’s streaming-debut possibility. “I make movies for the big screen.”

It’s directed by Joseph Kosinski, the new film follows Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell 30 years after he graduates from the TOPGUN Naval aviation program. That is when he is called back as an instructor for the elite fliers. Among his younger charges is Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of his late best friend Goose (Anthony Edwards in the first movie).

Homage to Characters

Val Kilmer as Iceman with Tom Cruise as Pete Mitchell in Top Gun (1986)
Val Kilmer as Iceman with Tom Cruise as Pete Mitchell in Top Gun (1986)/ Credit: Hollywood Life 

The cast and crew of Top Gun: Maverick wanted to make sure they paid proper homage to Val Kilmer’s iconic character, Iceman. Opposite Tom Cruise in the new movie. One element that has been consistently praised by critics and fans alike is how the film pays homage to and includes Val Kilmer and his iconic character Iceman in a key plot point, which Kilmer’s son Jack said means the world to his dad.

Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer and writer Christopher McQuarrie say that crafting a proper moment for Kilmer. And the character was at the top of their to-do list from the beginning. Kilmer was delighted to be involved, no matter the limitations of his speech following the star’s 2015 battle with throat cancer. The treatment required chemotherapy, radiation, and a tracheostomy that damaged his vocal cords and permanently altered his speaking voice.

McQuarrie says everyone involved with the film felt immense responsibility to properly pay tribute to the original, especially when it came to Kilmer returning to play Iceman.

Val Kilmer’s Tom “Iceman” Kazansky makes an unforgettable appearance in Top Gun: Maverick — with a little help from science.

Filmed after the actor, 62, recovered from throat cancer, the newly released follow-up to 1986’s Top Gun sees Kilmer reunite with Tom Cruise onscreen over 35 years after the original movie. And according to a report from Fortune, artificial intelligence previously developed by Sonic for Kilmer was leveraged for his role in the sequel.

China is Angry

The source of China's anger
The source of China’s anger/ Credit: The Times

Reports of cheers at an advance screening in Hollywood risk anger in Beijing. Mainly in the depiction in apparel of Cruise’s Captain Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell.

When the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick was first released online. The keen-eyed viewers noticed a key detail from the 1986 original had changed: Taiwanese and Japanese flag patches on the back of a jacket worn by Tom Cruise appeared to have gone. This led to speculation they were removed to appease China’s censors.

But the two flags remain in the cut being screened in Taiwan. Especially with local news outlet Sent reporting that audiences at an advance screening cheered and applauded at the sight of the jacket. The inclusion of the flags left “many Taiwanese viewers moved, surprised and delighted”, Sent reported.

The jacket, worn by Cruise’s Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell as a tribute to his late father, appeared in Top Gun. The flags are a reference to his father’s service on the USS Galveston CLG-3 cruiser in the Pacific Ocean.

The Taiwanese flag is regarded as a symbol of defiance and independence by Beijing. Mainly, which considers the island to be Chinese territory under the “one China principle”. Taiwan has long campaigned for international recognition of its independence. It is expected that Top Gun: Maverick will not be released in China, which permits only a few foreign films to be screened each year and only those that are approved by censors on the Asian sub-continent.

The Highlights of the Top Gun Press Tour

Miles Teller’s Tweet featuring a Top Gun: Maverick Press Tour Plane/ Credit: Twitter

Most people can’t wait to take a day off work. Tom Cruise isn’t most people. The actor recently told Bella magazine (via Uproxx) while on his “Top Gun: Maverick” press tour that he never takes a day off work, which somehow makes sense considering he’s often always filming a movie, promoting a movie and/or prepping for a movie. The way Cruise sees it, heading out on a press tour for one of his films is his time off.

Cruise has been jet-setting around the world this month promoting “Top Gun: Maverick,” which has earned critical acclaim. The actor attended the Cannes Film Festival, where the action sequel got a five-minute standing ovation, before flying over to London and then Tokyo for more of the film’s international premieres.

The Lady Gaga Top Gun SoundTrack

Lady Gaga Top Gun " Hold My Hand" Cover
Lady Gaga Top Gun ” Hold My Hand” Cover/ Credit: Youtube 
The Lady Gaga and Top Gun: Maverick collaboration is, quite frankly, a match made in heaven. They’re both high-flying with a flair for the dramatic—in the best way. Last week, Gaga announced her new song for the highly-anticipated film—timed with the first screenings at CinemaCon—and it all clicked. Of course, Lady Gaga is delivering a power ballad for the next Top Gun installment. The new film picks up three decades after the first film but its roots—and a lot of its baggage—linger in the ’80s. And, honestly, you just can’t have a Top Gun movie without a power ballad. It’s the rules.

Interesting Facts

Tom Cruise arrives at the Premiere in a helicopter
Cast member Tom Cruise arrives at the global premiere for the film Top Gun: Maverick on the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, California, U.S., May 4, 2022. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Tom Cruise knows how to arrive in style — and on-brand!

At the premiere of his new movie Top Gun: Maverick, the film star, 59, landed on the USS Midway in San Diego, California, on Wednesday in an N547SA Airbus helicopter that he piloted.

Sporting American Optical’s pilot sunglasses, Cruise smiled as he exited the aircraft and walked along the tarmac, buttoning up the jacket of his bespoke navy Brioni three-piece suit. The copter in the background was branded with the film’s title as well as the actor’s name in large letters.

Recently, Cruise took time to sing the praises of Lady Gaga, whose new song on the soundtrack “Hold My Hand” he said is “the heartbeat of our film.”

The Top-Gun Car: Porsche 911 Detail

Jennifer Connelly's and Tom Cruise with the Porsche
Jennifer Connelly’s and Tom Cruise with the Porsche/ Credit: AutoEvolution 

Jennifer Connelly’s character drives a 1973 Porsche 911 S. This was lent by a San Diego collector, and it could be worth more than $200,000.

In the 1986 version of “Top Gun,” Kelly McGillis’s character, “Charlie,” zoomed around San Diego in a black 1958 Porsche 356. But the little Speedster was a replica of the real thing, which is now worth more than $200,000 when in the best condition.

Longtime Speedster replica maker Intermeccanica built Charlie’s ride at its headquarters in Canada.

The hero car of “Top Gun: Maverick” needed no such stand-in. Instead, the 1973 Porsche 911 S that Jennifer Connelly owns as “Penny” is a numbers-matching original car. So is the ’73 911 E that director Joseph Kosinski used on camera as a backup model. Connelly herself—not a stunt double—drove the factory-correct Silver Metallic 911 S coupe. It was lent to the film by San Diego resident Nick Psyllos. A longtime collector, Psyllos has owned more than 10 Porsches, including a 1972 911 ST tribute car in tangerine orange.

“Top Gun: Maverick” may also confer an additional price bump on Psyllos’s specific car.

Celebrity ownership of most cars does little to bolster their values, according to Johnathan Klinger, a Hagerty spokesperson, unless that celebrity is Elvis Presley or Marilyn Monroe. But a role in a James Bond film adds more than 1,000% to the value of a car compared with those that didn’t feature.

Connelly and Cruise notwithstanding, the “Top Gun” 911 might fall somewhere in between the two.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ filmed in northern Nevada, showcases weapons school at NAS Fallon

The actual fighter pilot program that inspired Top Gun
The current fighter pilot program that inspired Top Gun/ Credit: Insider

Top Gun: Maverick” is the most anticipated movie of the summer. Tom Cruise isn’t the only star. So are the Navy fighter weapons school and the staff in Fallon, Nevada.

The film started shooting in January 2019 in Fallon and Lake Tahoe for a month and a half. It’s based on TOPGUN (yes, that’s how the school is spelled). There’s only one TOPGUN in the world. It’s a school that trains trainers.

The movie showcases northern Nevada, as F-18 jets whiz through the desert landscape at incredible speeds.

“They make it so that it seems like it’s the actors in the back of the airplane. But when you see the airplanes moving around the way they do in the movie, that’s our lieutenants doing it,” said TOPGUN Commanding Officer Michael Patterson. Lt. Nikkol Rajkovacz is a weapons system operator. She’s one of the first two TOPGUN aviator instructors.

One of the F-18 jets that Tom Cruise flew still sits on the tarmac at NAS Fallon. The name of Capt. Pete Mitchell, also known as “Maverick”, is still etched on the aircraft.

 TOPGUN Lt. Graham Stapleton said Top Gun: Maverick will shine a light on their school and what they do.

The new movie will likely be a recruiting tool, just like the first Top Gun movie was, 36 years ago.


More than 30 years after he took our collective breath away as Captain Pete Mitchell in Tony Scott’s Top Gun, Tom Cruise is back in the cockpit in Top Gun: Maverick. While I don’t enjoy Tom Cruise as a human being, his acting prowess is unparalleled, which is evident in his astounding 12.5 million $ upfront payment. The power of Hollywood stardom. The film, which was delayed due to the pandemic, opened on May 27 and broke all records. The critic reviews have been universally warm and lauded director Joseph Kosinski’s skillful balance between nostalgia and new. So here’s the good news — Top Gun: Maverick will be available for you to stream on Paramount+ sometime this summer. But there is one catch: Don’t expect to see it anywhere until at least July. In the meantime, why don’t you plop on your couch and stream the original film? Happy watching!

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