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Tom Cruise needed more than three decades and some convincing from the director to make Top Gun: Maverick. The movie was a long time coming, but it needed only a few weekends to become the most successful Cruise movie ever. Maverick has continued to soar despite facing stiff box office competition, but how much has it grossed, and where does it rank all time? Let’s find out.

Tom Cruise in 'Top Gun: Maverick.' A strong opening weekend helped make 'Top Gun: Maverick' Tom Cruise's top-performing movie, and now it's among the all-time best.
Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ | Paramount Pictures/Skydance/Jerry Bruckheimer

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ had a $170 million budget and several delays before jetting into theaters

Top Gun: Maverick ran up a $170 million budget, according to IMDb. In addition to actor and crew salaries and paying for equipment, part of that budget includes promotion. And seemingly everyone involved in the movie did everything they could to spread the word.

The planned-for 2019 release for Top Gun: Maverick never happened because some scenes required 2020 reshoots. Coronavirus (COVID-19) ups and downs delayed the release even further, but Paramount never let the buzz die out. 

The studio released an official trailer in 2020. Miles Teller and Glen Powell, for instance, appeared on the Rich Eisen Show together that year to discuss a movie that wouldn’t hit theaters for another two years. Cruise went on The Graham Norton Show in 2021 to talk about the movie, even though it was far from finished. And when a 2022 release became realistic, new teaser trailers and talk show appearances re-upped the buzz around the movie. 

The long-growing anticipation, years of promotion, and Cruise’s best opening weekend set the movie up for success. So where does Top Gun: Maverick’s gross rank all-time?

‘Maverick’s gross makes it a top-15 movie at the all-time box office

With a $126.7 million opening weekend, Top Gun: Maverick gave Cruise his best opening ever. The movie nearly made its budget back in a few days, and it dominated the box office the weekend after it debuted.

And it’s hardly slowed down since. 

Top Gun: Maverick’s gross makes it one of the most financially successful movies of all time, no matter how you look at it.

Top Gun: Maverick’s $685.1 million domestic gross makes it a top-10 movie, roughly $7 million ahead of Avengers: Infinity Way and within striking distance of No. 5 Black Panther, per Box Office Mojo.

In terms of all-time worldwide gross, Maverick sits inside the top 15. Its $1.4 billion (and counting) box office puts it at No. 12, comfortably ahead of Avengers: Age of Ultron and $45 million behind Frozen II as of Aug. 25, 2022. 

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


‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Director Joseph Kosinski Reveals the Flaw He Chose to Leave in the Movie

Despite Top Gun: Maverick’s massive gross, rousing reaction from fans, and co-star Miles Teller talking with Cruise about a possible follow-up, Top Gun 3 will never happen.

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 a third movie will happen. Paramount pressed Cruise for a Top Gun sequel before the first movie hit theaters. It took more than 30 years to make it happen. If Cruise’s mindset about making Maverick is any indication, 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 makes it one of the best movies of all time.

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