After dominating the box office this year, “Top Gun: Maverick” has finally hit Paramount+ seven months after its theatrical premiere. And even with the long, long gap between release and streaming — as well as its ready availability on VOD platforms — the blockbuster has become the most watched Paramount+ film in its premiere weekend, Paramount Studios announced Wednesday. That’s even despite its continued success on platforms like iTunes, where “Top Gun: Maverick” currently sits at #2.
“The runaway success of this film across theatrical, digital and now in streaming is an undeniable proof point demonstrating the power of Paramount’s multi-platform release strategy,” Brian Robbins, chief content officer of movies at Paramount+, said in a statement touting the company milestone. “Across all our 2022 titles, and now with ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ our studio has unlocked the value of variable windowing that streaming provides to augment a film’s overall success.”
“Maverick” premiered on the streamer Thursday, December 22. Although Paramount did not share specific viewership numbers, between the first day and Sunday, December 25, it surpassed “Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s” previous record for the most-watched film premiere ever on the service by 60 percent. The film also helped increase streaming of Cruise’s other films, such as “Mission: Impossible” by 150 percent and the original “Top Gun,” from 1986, by 400 percent.
“We are thrilled to see a continuation of the film’s massive record-breaking success by becoming the #1 most-watched movie premiere on Paramount+,” Tanya Giles, chief programming officer of Paramount Streaming, said in a statement. “We continue to benefit from the highly anticipated theatrical hits from Paramount Pictures that come to the service delivering fans a new way to continue to watch and re-watch their favorite movies.”
A sequel to the original film from Tony Scott, “Maverick” is directed by Joseph Kosinski, also known for his 2010 film “Tron: Legacy.” Cruise reprises his role as the titular hero Maverick, an often reckless Navy Captain whose insubordination gets him reassigned to training the next generation of Top Gun graduates to take on a new mission. Also starring alongside Cruise is Miles Teller as the son of Maverick’s best friend Goose (played by Anthony Edwards in the original film); Jennifer Connelly as Cruise’s love interest; Jon Hamm, Charles Parnell, and Ed Harris as Maverick’s superiors; and Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Monica Barbaro, Jay Ellis, and Danny Ramirez as the other candidates for the mission. Val Kilmer also appears in the film, as Maverick’s former rival Iceman from the original movie.
Production on a sequel to “Top Gun” began in 2010 before stalling after Scott died in 2012. In 2017, Kosinski was hired to direct, and the film was shot from May 2018 to April 2019. After initially being scheduled for July 2019, the film was delayed to June 2020 due to complications with the action scenes, only to be delayed an incredible four times after the COVID-19 pandemic hit its peak. Ultimately, its landing date paid off, and when the film premiered in theaters this May, it became a worldwide success. At $1.488 billion worldwide, the film is the highest-grossing movie of 2022 and the second film after “Spider-Man: No Way Home” to hit $1 billion since the pandemic began.
On IndieWire’s list of the 25 best films of 2022, “Top Gun: Maverick” was listed at No. 7, with Kate Erbland writing, “High-flying aerial stunts literally soar, emotion runs high, and Lady Gaga is there to sing along to all of it. Now this? This is a movie. This is a blockbuster. We’ve missed them.”