The sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun has crossed $150 million in the domestic market in North America, and $100 million in the international market. The global collection of Top Gun: Maverick currently stands at $260 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
“These results are ridiculously, over-the-top fantastic,” said Chris Aronson, Paramount’s president of domestic distribution.
Top Gun: Maverick revolves around test pilot Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Cruise), who is tasked with the training of a group of Top Gun graduates for a specialised mission under the command of the US Pacific Fleet.
While the 1986 film was directed by Tony Scott, the sequel was helmed by Joseph Kosinki and released in cinemas on May 27. Prior to that, Top Gun: Maverick had its world premiere at CinemaCon on April 28. It had its European premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival on May 18, as part of the festival’s official selection. Cruise was also surprised with an honorary Palme d’Or for lifetime achievement at the event.
Top Gun: Maverick, which was initially supposed to release in 2019, experienced multiple delays, partially because of the pandemic, but also owing to an extension in production to work out complex fight sequences.
In an interview with Empire, Kosinki revealed that the team had shot 800 hours of footage, the equivalent of all three Lord of the Rings movies combined. “Out of a 12 or 14-hour day, you might get 30 seconds of good footage,” Kosinki told the publication. “It was so hard-earned. It just took a very long time to get it all. Months and months of aerial shooting.”
Apart from the external footage, the in-cockpit sequences were apparently equally tough to shoot, with a significant amount of filming taking place in actual planes. “We had to teach the actors about lighting, about cinematography, about editing,” said Cruise, who also served as one of the producers of the film.
He added, “I had to teach them how to turn the cameras on and off, and about camera angles and lenses. We didn’t have unlimited time in these jets. If they were going up for 20-30 minutes, I had to make sure that we got what we needed.”
Aside from Cruise, the cast also included actors Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelley, John Hamm, Glen Powell, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer, and Lewis Pullman.