Even with a lawsuit looming overhead, “Top Gun: Maverick” continues its record-breaking success as it aims for one billion dollars in box office sales.
The lawsuit, directed at Paramount Pictures, comes from the family of Ehud Yonay, whose 1983 article “Top Guns” inspired the original 1986 film. The family reclaimed the copyright to the original article in 2020. And now, they’re suing the studio for copyright infringement after “Top Gun: Maverick” delays caused filming to reportedly wrap in May 2021.
If the family wins the lawsuit, they aim to gain some of the incredible profits that the film has amassed so far. “Top Gun: Maverick” already blew away box office records over Memorial Day weekend, raking in nearly $160 million. And now, in another record-breaking move, the film earned $90 million during its second week, resulting in a mere 29% drop in sales. That’s the lowest decrease from the first to second weekend for any film that’s earned over $100 million.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, this wildly low drop indicates that the Tom Cruise film can make some serious headway toward the $1 billion club. Only a few films ever reach those heights, especially during the last few years of the pandemic. If more and more people continue to see “Top Gun: Maverick” in theaters, then it could become the 50th film to reach $1 billion, per Box Office Mojo.
As of Monday, June 6, the film has earned $552 million globally. That’s with it being in theaters for only 10 days. Other popular films, like “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” severely dropped in ticket sales following the opening weekend. The Marvel film took a 67% dive from its opening to its second weekend in theaters. Same thing for Warner Bros.’ “The Batman,” which fell 51%.
There’s One Big Thing Standing in the Way of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Reaching $1B
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the main reason why “Top Gun: Maverick” might not reach $1 billion in box office sales is that the film will not debut in China or Russia. The two countries make up a significant portion of sales for several other films.
But they won’t show Tom Cruise’s latest film. Per CNN, part of the reason for China’s ban could be the appearance of the flag of Taiwan on Maverick’s jacket. The studio originally removed the flag in its first trailer shown in 2019. But images of the flag returned before the film’s release. This led some officials to wonder whether the movie has been banned in China due to outrage and censorship reasons.
The film will also not play in Russia. Per Variety, this could be due to the fact that the “enemy” in the film is indicated to be Russia. While the enemy is never outright named, it’s very closely alluded to.
Regardless, if word of mouth and positive reviews continue, the film will have no problem reaching the milestone. At the least, it’ll surpass Tom Cruise’s current highest-grossing film. “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” holds the top title at $791.6 million.