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'Top Gun: Maverick' passes 'Titanic' as Paramount's top U.S. film

Tim Baysinger
Jul 15, 2022
Data: Paramount Pictures; Chart: Skye Witley/Axios

Tom Cruise's long-awaited "Top Gun" sequel proves the box office is alive and well, as it was not only the actor's highest-grossing movie, it was Paramount Picture's biggest domestic release in the studio's history.

Why it matters: The whopping gross to date shows that speculation around the demise of the box office is greatly exaggerated. Going forward, this will test studios' willingness to sacrifice theatrical revenue in favor of growing their in-house streaming services.

Driving the news: On Wednesday, "Top Gun: Maverick" — which opened over Memorial Day weekend after nearly three years of delays — surpassed James Cameron's 1997 hit "Titanic," with $601.9 million domestically.

  • Globally, it became Cruise's first film to reach the $1 billion mark and is the highest-grossing movie of 2022.
  • It's also the fifth movie for Paramount this year that has held the top spot over a weekend, joining "Scream 5," "The Lost City," "Sonic 2" and "Jackass Forever."

Of note: "Titanic" still reigns with $659 million when factoring in rereleases that came well after the film's original run.

What's next: Paramount movies have largely adopted the 45-day exclusive window for theaters before they are available on Paramount+. Paramount CEO Bob Bakish said "Top Gun's" (sorry) top performance at the box office means it will be a bit before you can stream "Maverick" from your home.

  • "We like the 45-day fast-follow model because it gives you freshness and lets you get box office revenue, really all the box office revenue, and still bring a marketing channel to the streamer. 'Top Gun,' because of what it's doing in the box office, it's going to be a little bit longer," he told CNBC this week.
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