The summer blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick” surpassed 2014’s “American Sniper” to become the top box office grossing military movie of all time this week.
“Sniper” still holds the domestic box office crown with about $350 million in domestic sales to “Maverick’s” to $322 million, but that record is soon to fall too, Military.com noted.
“Maverick,” the sequel to 1986’s top grossing film “Top Gun” starring Tom Cruise, is the first offering of 2022 to receive a “A+” rating from moviegoers, explaining its strong legs at the box office two weeks into its run.
We polled @TopGunMovie: Maverick tonight and audiences gave it an A+! Congrats to @ParamountPics, @TomCruise, and the rest of the cast and crew! Will you be lining up to see the sequel this weekend? #CinemaScore pic.twitter.com/ESnSu9RxkE
— CinemaScore (@CinemaScore) May 28, 2022
It also marked the first $100 million+ opening weekend in Cruise’s 40-year career.
Additionally, The Hollywood Reporter highlighted that the Paramount Pictures release set the record for the smallest drop-off in sales in its second weekend out of any movie with over a $100 million opening.
“Maverick” ticket sales fell just 29 percent for a total of $90 million domestically.
“Top Gun: Maverick’s” status as the top grossing military movie does not take into account inflation.
In today’s dollars, “American Sniper’s” box office worldwide total would be $668 million.
“Saving Private Ryan” — previously in second place — earned about $482 million worldwide in 1998, which would be $855 million in today’s dollars.
People the world over are clearly resonating with what “Maverick” has to offer: a strong patriotic story and great action.
A central message of the film is not to count America out: It’s still a force for good and security in a turbulent and violent world.
After all, what does a U.S. aircraft carrier represent but the projection of nation’s military might and presence.
Without giving much away about “Maverick,” the mission that Cruise’s character — U.S. Navy Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell — oversees is the attack of a soon to be operational nuclear facility in what is identified as a “rogue” nation.
Iran immediately comes to mind.
There’s a line at the beginning of the movie where Admiral Chester Cain, played by Ed Harris, tells Maverick that his days are numbered. He’s a dying breed.
Maverick’s response is perhaps a slight concession that that day may come, but “not today.”
After the COVID-19 lockdowns and all the weirdness and strife of the last few years, “Top Gun: Maverick” shows that people are hungry for unity and hope.