Top Gun: Maverick is Tom Cruise’s first $1 billion movie

The 1986 blockbuster sequel, in which Tom Cruise reprises his iconic role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, crossed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office, according to Paramount.

Maverick is the first film in Cruise’s more than 40-year career to reach the billion-dollar milestone, as well as the second-highest-grossing film in Paramount’s long history in terms of internal numbers, behind only 1997’s Titanic.

What’s more, The Maverick delivered its impressive box office performance in a sort of old-fashioned way: it hit a record on Memorial Day weekend and hasn’t dropped much since then.

“It’s rare to get the kind of alchemy that makes a real film about an event, and we’ve been absolutely blown away by the global response,” said Brian Robbins, President and CEO of Paramount Pictures.

Maverick received huge buzz, and audiences — especially ticket buyers over the age of 35 — gravitated toward the film. This is notable because this demographic has been somewhat reluctant to return to theaters since the start of the pandemic.

It’s also only the second pandemic-era film to gross $1 billion worldwide, joining December’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.
“For any film, joining the $1 billion club is a monumental achievement,” Paul Dergarabedian, Senior Media Analyst at Komskor, (SCOR) told CNN Business. “But Top Gun: Maverick, which made $1 billion during the pandemic, is a little different.”

“It was the perfect film at the perfect time because it featured one of the last Hollywood movie stars, a film that delighted all audiences around the world,” he added.

Critics also showered praise. The film, which sees Maverick returning to teach a new team of pilots how to accomplish a mission impossible, scored a near-perfect 97% on review site Rotten Tomatoes.

As of now, Maverick’s share is over $520 million domestically and over $468 million overseas. It is the 50th film in history to gross over $1 billion worldwide, excluding inflation.

Over the weekend, The Maverick ranked second at the national box office on its fifth weekend, grossing $29.6 million. No. 1 was the musical biopic Elvis, starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, which sold for $31.1 million in North America.

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