The pandemic changed just about everything about the theatrical movie business. Films that used to spend months in theaters now spend weeks — or days, or no time at all — before debuting on streaming. Even after the world adjusted to life with covid, even after theaters reopened, even after restrictions lifted, many studios began hustling their films onto home video in as little as 45 days after their big-screen premieres.

Not Top Gun: MaverickParamount held off releasing the film all through the pandemic, and finally opened it in theaters — and only in theaters — on May 25. Then the film stayed in theaters — and only in theaters — for months, becoming the top-grossing film in the United States and around the world in 2022. (It was still in a few theaters around the country on Halloween.)

Maverick finally ended its box-office run having earned $716 million domestically and $1.4 billion worldwide. That means it’s finally ready to make its streaming premiere. The long-awaited sequel to Top Gun, featuring Tom Cruise back in his signature role as daredevil Navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, comes to Paramount+ next month.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski, Maverick became a record-breaking hit in theaters because it was a true big-screen experience. But I have already watched it again on a small screen — on a plane no less! — and I was shocked how well it played there. Even without the immersive qualities of a dark room and a huge white wall, the script, the performances, and, yes, even the incredible aerial stunts, all still work. It’s a great movie! And a great movie is a great movie no matter where or how you watch it.

Top Gun: Maverick premieres on Paramount+ on December 22. The original Top Gun is already available to stream on the service.

Top Gun Easter Eggs in Top Gun: Maverick

Did you catch these callbacks to the original Top Gun in the sequel?
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