Top Gun: Maverick Passes $800 Million At The Box Office, Becoming Tom Cruise's Biggest Hit Ever

Tom Cruise has been a staple of the box office for nearly 40 years at this point dating back to the original "Top Gun." Now, all these years later, "Top Gun: Maverick" has done the unthinkable and become a global smash hit as well as a critical darling, delighting both critics and audiences alike across the globe. So much so that, amazingly enough, it is now the biggest movie of Cruise's entire career.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Top Gun: Maverick" has now earned $422.1 million domestically and $384.2 million internationally for a grand total of $806.3 million worldwide. That officially puts it above 2018's "Mission: Impossible – Fallout" ($791 million), making it Cruise's highest-grossing film ever. That does not account for inflation but, even so, it is well worth pointing out that "Maverick" has managed to do this in just three weeks, meaning it still has a lot of runway left and should easily cross $1 billion before all is said and done.

"War of the Worlds" had previously been Cruise's biggest domestic grosser ($234 million) but that record was shattered some time ago. Now, it's just a matter of seeing how high this sequel can fly, and whether or not it can join the $1 billion club without a release in China or Russia. At this point, nothing seems impossible.

A speedy surprise

There is an awful lot to say in immediate reflection looking at these numbers. It's kind of poetic in some way that the sequel to "Top Gun," the movie that cemented Tom Cruise as a movie star for the ages, is now the movie that is helping him check box office milestones off his bucket list, including the first $100 million opening weekend of his career. More than anything though, it's a lesson in blockbuster storytelling to other studios out there hoping to cash in on a franchise's good name.

The fact of the matter is that director Joseph Kosinski, Cruise, and Paramount made one heck of an entertaining blockbuster that truly demands to be seen in theaters. Word of mouth is taking this movie further than anyone expected. Sure, a "Top Gun" sequel always seemed like a movie that could make some money. But this? It was doubtful anyone expected it had a real shot at being the highest-grossing movie of 2022 overall, not to mention Cruise's illustrious career. Make something worth watching and the people will come.

Theatrical releases are not only still viable, but they offer a clear path to profitability in a way that streaming can't despite the fact that Hollywood doubled down in that department during the pandemic. This movie is proving that studios should reconsider strategies, particularly as it relates to prioritizing streaming.

"Top Gun: Maverick" is in theaters now.