A Top Gun: Maverick Streaming Release Would Be Terrible Right Now

Theatrical releases being expedited to streaming services is the new norm thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it would be terrible for Top Gun: Maverick to get a streaming release anytime soon. The sequel to the 1986 classic, Top Gun, was finally released on May 27th after several years of delays mostly related to the pandemic. In the ensuing month since its theatrical debut, Top Gun: Maverick has broken box office records and established itself as the most commercially successful film of Tom Cruise's career, surpassing Cruise's previous box office high from 2018's Mission: Impossible - Fallout.

Strong reviews and positive word of mouth have helped Top Gun: Maverick soar to the top of 2022's box office charts as the year's highest-grossing film. It is just the second movie to cross the $1 billion mark since Avengers: Endgame did it in 2019. Audiences who have decided to see Top Gun: Maverick in theaters have been treated to thrilling aerial action sequences, surprisingly emotional moments filled with nostalgia, and satisfying fan service done right. Discerning moviegoers have always understood some movies can be seen from home with a negligible impact on the experience while streaming ruins the spectacle for other movies - and Top Gun: Maverick is certainly a high-octane spectacle that can only be fully appreciated on the biggest of screens.

Related: How Maverick's Box Office Compares To Top Gun 1 (Adjusted For Inflation)

Given Top Gun: Maverick's box office tally surpassed $1 billion as of June 26th, 2022, it would be a terrible idea for Paramount to even think about streaming the movie. The film industry learned quickly there are no profit guarantees during a pandemic, and Paramount is surely keeping that in mind with the surprise success of Top Gun: Maverick. Maverick's week-to-week box office drops have been so minimal that they serve as continued proof of the franchise's success - meaning releasing Top Gun: Maverick to at-home audiences would kneecap the movie's already record-breaking potential at this point.

Paramount Pictures has several familiar IPs under its belt, but none of them are as prolific as the MCU or even Warner Bros.' DCEU, meaning Paramount does not have a superhero to lean on during uncertain times. Yet Top Gun: Maverick is a turning point for movie theaters as the film's incredible performance and demographical data both indicate a shift to normalcy as far as the box office is concerned. Top Gun: Maverick's journey to $1 billion has been fueled by older-skewing audiences returning to theaters after a lengthy, pandemic-induced absence. That is in contrast to the many superhero movies that predominantly younger-skewing audiences have supported since the pandemic began.

There are legitimate reasons to be encouraged about the film industry's future, but that future is not guaranteed. Streaming benefits viewers at home, but for Paramount, it appears essential that they milk Top Gun: Maverick's runaway box office success for as long as possible. That is the financially sensible thing to do - because if they can't take advantage of the Avengers or the Justice League like their competitors can, then they have to utilize the next closest thing, which, for contemporary audiences, appears to be Tom Cruise's Maverick.

More: How Much Money Will Tom Cruise Make For Top Gun: Maverick?

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