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‘Top Gun: Maverick’ hits $800 million in 3rd week in theaters

Tom Cruise in the movie trailer for "Top Gun: Maverick." (Paramount Pictures/Released)
June 20, 2022

“Top Gun: Maverick,” the sequel to the original 1986 “Top Gun,” has made more than $800 million around the world in its third week in theaters.

On Friday, Deadline reported the popular film portraying Navy pilots crossed the $800 million mark, surpassing 2018’s “Mission Impossible: Fallout” to become lead actor Tom Cruise’s most popular film to date. In addition to its success across the board, “Top Gun: Maverick” is Cruise’s most successful film in 23 countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia and Brazil.

“Top Gun: Maverick” already crossed the $400 million mark with audiences in North America last week and it appears to be on track to cross the “$1 billion mark worldwide this week when it hits theaters in South Korea. According to Deadline, South Korea has traditionally been a successful market for Cruise and the actor traveled there this weekend to promote the film’s release.

The long-awaited “Top Gun” sequel is already the highest-grossing movie of 2022 so far and is the second highest-grossing movie of the post-COVID-19 era after the release of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in December.

Even more impressive is that the global success of “Top Gun: Maverick” comes without the movie releasing in Chinese and Russian markets. The movie reportedly lost the support of Chinese investors due to its overall pro-U.S. tone. The movie likely also ran afoul of Chinese censors by including a patch with the flags Taiwan and Japan on the jacket of Cruise’s character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

The flag patch was altered in early trailers for the movie. The move caused some observers to speculate that the move was done to appease Chinese Communist Party censors, who would likely view the Taiwanese flag as a symbol of the island’s independence from Chinese rule.

“Top Gun: Maverick” has no announced release date in Russia. Paramount, the movie studio behind the “Top Gun” franchise, paused the release of some of its films in Russia in March in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

While neither the original “Top Gun” or “Top Gun: Maverick” ever explicitly name the enemy country U.S. pilots are up against, the original movie state’s that the enemy pilots were flying in fictitious MiG-28 fighter jets, borrowing the common Mikoyan-Gurevich “MiG” designation of many Russian fighter jets like the MiG 21 and MiG 29. The main enemy aircraft used in the sequel is simply referred to throughout the film as “fifth-generation fighter jets” but are nearly identical in design to the real-world Russian Sukhoi Su-57 advanced fifth-generation fighter jet.