The return of Pete Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick had the highest grossing initial weekend of any Tom Cruise movie in history, and there is no shortage of Tom Cruise movies. The film saw box office success of $156 million in the US and $100 million internationally ($250 million total). The film broke the record for highest revenue on Memorial Day weekend, surpassing Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. The plot sees Maverick return to the US Navy as a mentor and instructor for a seemingly impossible mission, where he must juggle past troubles and trauma of his career in addition to doing what Pete Mitchell does best, flying fighter jets.
Cruise’s original Top Gun, released in 1986, used a budget of $15 million. Comparatively, the 2022 sequel was estimated to be around $170 million. A portion of this cost is largely due to the hire of real US Navy F-18 Jets, which cost over $11,000 per hour. Tom Cruise is the proud owner of multiple jets himself. However, it is reported that in this movie, he was prohibited from flying any jets or performing any of his own stunts . . . we’re not sure what to believe. After all, Cruise landed his own helicopter on the deck of the USS Midway for the premiere in San Diego.
Val Kilmer reappeared in Top Gun: Maverick as retired Admiral Iceman. He portrays a character who has lost his voice to cancer which, ironically, is true in real life. It is reported CGI was used to use Kilmer’s voice in the film. He was paid a handsome $500,000 for only a few scenes. Cruise was paid $20 million, and Miles Teller, a.k.a. Rooster, son of Maverick’s ex-partner, was paid $3.5 million for his role.
Cruise pressured Paramount Pictures to delay the premiere of the movie as filming wrapped in 2019. He claimed that the pandemic would dramatically affect the box office results as well as a de-stimulating theatrical release, which he was probably spot on about. With two planned release dates, it was dropped on May 27, 2022, worldwide.
The film currently sits on 8.6/10 on IMDb and 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.