Back in May, when asked if there was any talk about putting Top Gun: Maverick on streaming, Tom Cruise quipped that “they wouldn’t dare.” He went on to explain that he specifically makes movies for the theatrical experience and suggested that he was sort of taking it upon himself—through Top Gun and the next Mission: Impossible movie—to make sure that movie theaters were still a thing post-2020. Like a lot of movies, Top Gun: Maverick had been hit with some lengthy delays because of the pandemic, but unlike with a lot of movies, Paramount Pictures and the other producers involved resisted the urge to dump it on streaming when the U.S. box office was still slow. The gamble—that people would be willing to return to theaters if it was the only way to see Top Gun: Maverick—worked, with the movie making a veritable crapload of money.
But now, six months later, Top Gun: Maverick is coming to streaming. Or… make that seven months later, because it’s not happening until the very end of next month. According to Deadline, Maverick will be available on Paramount+ on December 22, and Tom Cruise must be positively furious. He’s probably jumping on couches and screaming, which is something that we can only imagine somebody doing if they’re very angry about something (as opposed to being very happy about something).
Actually, the movie made $700 million in the U.S. alone, so he’s probably not too upset about it finally hitting Paramount+. What he might be upset about, though, is that Maverick will also premiere on Epix that same day (ahead of the network’s transformation into MGM+). In September, a coalition of celebrities, including Cruise, accused Paramount of screwing them out of money due to a long-standing deal with Epix, which gets Paramount movies for relatively cheap. It’s a great deal for Epix and not a great deal for Paramount, which means it’s an even worse deal for people who stand to make money off of Paramount movies. That being said, Tom Cruise must have plenty of money, so we’re not too broken up about it.
What we do care about is that now more people—including those who don’t feel comfortable going to theaters or just don’t feel like it—can now see the biggest and buzziest movie of the year! Don’t tell Tom Cruise, but that’s actually a good thing!