Top Gun: Maverick is now the No. 1 movie of Tom Cruise's career.
The long-awaited sequel has now passed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office, according to Variety. This is the first of Cruise's films to reach the rare milestone, with his next-highest global earner being 2018's Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which made $791.1 million.
Per Box Office Mojo's tallies, Top Gun: Maverick is now among the top 50 movies of all time in terms of box office performance, not adjusted for inflation. The top 5 films on the list each earned more than $2 billion. The highest, 2009's Avatar, made $2.8 billion — and it will add to that total when it's re-released in theaters this September in the lead up to the December sequel.
"To all the films in release, to all the studios, and to all the exhibitors: congratulations. To the audience: thank you for venturing out and allowing us to entertain you. See you at the movies," Cruise wrote on Twitter Monday.
Top Gun: Maverick set a Memorial Day weekend box office record on its opening weekend last month. Celebrating the win, Cruise, 59, wrote on Twitter, "Thank you to everyone who saw #TopGun: Maverick and helped make it a historic opening weekend."
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Prior to that, Cruise — who insisted the film's theatrical release be postponed throughout the pandemic rather than it drop directly on streaming — tweeted, "36 years after the first film, #TopGun: Maverick is finally here. We made it for the big screen. And we made it for you, the fans. I hope you enjoy the ride this weekend."
To all the films in release, to all the studios, and to all the exhibitors: congratulations. To the audience: thank you for venturing out and allowing us to entertain you.
See you at the movies.
— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) June 27, 2022
At the Cannes Film Festival this year, the actor said he "never" considered doing a streaming release for Top Gun: Maverick. "That was never going to happen. Ever," said Cruise of the sequel's streaming-debut possibility. "I make movies for the big screen."
Directed by Joseph Kosinski, the new film follows Cruise's Pete "Maverick" Mitchell 30 years after his graduation from TOPGUN Naval aviation program, when he is called back as an instructor for the elite fliers. Among his young charges is Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of his late best friend Goose (Anthony Edwards in the first movie).
Hector Vivas/Getty for Paramount Pictures Tom Cruise and Joseph Kosinski
Teller, 35, is among the actors cast as a new class of pilots, which includes Glen Powell, Greg Tarzan Davis, Jay Ellis, Monica Barbaro and Lewis Pullman. Jennifer Connelly and Jon Hamm also star, and Val Kilmer reprises his role from the original.
In May, producer Jerry Bruckheimer told Deadline of Top Gun: Maverick's success, "We make films for all audiences. Top Gun is for everybody; it's all about the story and the characters and the ride we take them on. I don't care where you see this movie. You see it with packed audiences; it's playing all over the world. ... Watching the movie over the last few nights with an audience, people are really happy walking out of the theater."
The next movie for Cruise is Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1, which hits theaters in July 2023.