‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Just Broke a ‘Titanic’ Box Office Record 

Top Gun: Maverick continues to soar. The long-awaited movie gave star Tom Cruise his best opening weekend. Then it quickly became his most successful film ever, and the blockbuster continues to climb the ranks of highest-grossing movies. Two months after it hit theaters, Top Gun: Maverick passed Titanic as it broke another impressive box office record.

Tom Cruise as Lt. Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in 'Top Gun: Maverick.' The movie was already Tom Cruise's most successful film before it broke 'Titanic's record as Paramount's highest-earning domestic movie.
Tom Cruise as Lt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ | Paramount Pictures/Skydance/Jerry Bruckheimer Films

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ took years to arrive but only days to succeed

Paramount wanted a Top Gun sequel before the first movie hit theaters in 1986, but the follow-up took decades to arrive.

The first movie established Cruise as an action star, but he followed up with roles in more dramatic films such as The Color of Money, Rain Man, Born on the Fourth of July, and A Few Good Men. His first true action movie after Top Gun was 1996’s Mission: Impossible

Once the studio got all the pieces in place to make the sequel, director Joseph Kosinski had to convince Cruise to sign on. He got the superstar actor to accept by promising to move Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell’s story forward. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic delayed the 2020 release, but Maverick went supersonic once it finally hit theaters in 2022. The rest is history, as they say, but Top Gun: Maverick isn’t quite done setting records.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ just broke a box office record ‘Titanic’ held for 25 years

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James Cameron’s Titanic lived up to its name with its box office haul. The Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet movie remains the No. 3 movie of all time in terms of worldwide box office gross. It remains firmly in the top 10 with its domestic lifetime total, per Box Office Mojo.

But Top Gun: Maverick left Titanic in its jet wake as it became Paramount’s No. 1 movie ever at the U.S. box office, according to Adweek

Maverick has earned more than $640.4 million in the U.S. since it hit theaters on May 27, 2022. That figure pushes it well past the $600.7 million Titanic earned in its initial theatrical release. We need to note that Paramount re-released Titanic in theaters after its first run, making another $58.6 million for a total of $659.3 million.

Still, Top Gun: Maverick’s momentum remains strong, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time until it holds the record for Paramount’s highest-grossing U.S. movie without any caveats.

‘Top Gun 3’ will never happen despite the success of ‘Maverick’

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Despite Top Gun: Maverick breaking Titanic’s Paramount box-office record and its rousing reaction from fans, Top Gun 3 will never happen.

Cruise’s Maverick co-star Miles Teller admitted any sequel depends on Cruise, and that’s the challenge of making a third Top Gun movie.

Cruise’s busy schedule makes it hard to shoehorn in another project right now. The longer filmmakers wait (or are forced to wait), the less likely it is that a third movie will happen. It took more than 30 years to make a sequel. If Cruise’s mindset about making Maverick is any indication — not rehashing the past and making sure the story and characters move forward — a third movie must be carefully thought out.

There’s something to be said for going out on a high note, too. Top Gun: Maverick hit all the right notes with its balance of action and emotion; topping it wouldn’t be easy. Plus, a pending lawsuit could force Paramount to press pause on a sequel.

Even if we don’t get Top Gun 3, it doesn’t change the fact that Top Gun: Maverick’s gross bested Titanic to be Paramount’s top earner.

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