Tom Cruise may have his sights set on a musical right now, but his action hero checks won’t stop clearing. Top Gun: Maverick has officially soared all the way to becoming the fifth highest-grossing movie domestically of all time, Deadline reports. The new milestone also makes the movie a career highest-grossing film for Cruise. At the moment, Top Gun: Maverick has earned roughly $701.23 million domestically, surpassing Black Panther’s monstrous number of $700.4 million.
It’s a rarity to see such enormous numbers post-COVID-19, and an anomaly in Cruise’s career. Although Top Gun: Maverick’s opening weekend haul of $124 million didn’t quite top fellow cinematic big-guy-on-campus Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, the numbers bodies Cruise’s previous record, War Of The Worlds. Aside from the sci-fi thriller (which opened to $68.4 million in 2005) and 2018's Mission Impossible: Fallout, none of Cruise’s previous movies have broken the $60 million mark.
“It’s without a doubt, that Top Gun: Maverick is a true cultural touchstone embodying the power of the cinematic experience,” says Brian Robbins, president and CEO of Paramount Pictures, in a statement to Deadline. “As we celebrate this enormous achievement and the film’s massive impact, we want to extend our gratitude to Tom Cruise, our filmmakers and cast, Paramount’s marketing and distribution teams, and the legions of both new and longtime Top Gun fans who keep turning out to enjoy this remarkable movie.”
Although large-scale streaming premieres of modern updates to beloved franchises (think Hulu’s Prey) have been in-style of late, Cruise always pictured Maverick premiering in theaters, to bodies in seats. When asked during Cannes if there was ever pressure from higher-ups to move the film to streaming given delays, Cruise said they “wouldn’t dare.”
“That’s not going to happen, ever. That was never going to happen. Never. Not going to happen,” he asserted. Call it manifestation or sheer stubbornness—Cruise ended up right.