Top Gun: Maverick Premier Was Delayed 2 Years

Tom Cruise as Maverick in the movie Top Gun: Maverick
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Tom Cruise as Maverick in the movie Top Gun: Maverick

The original Top Gun was released in 1986. A young Tom Cruise starred as Maverick, pushing his way through the Navy’s top school for fighter pilots. With the young star power, high flying action sequences, and epic soundtrack, it was one of the most beloved movies of the 80’s.

For 35 years, audiences awaited a sequel. In 2010, Paramount began development and Top Gun: Maverick finally began filming in 2018. Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer would reprise their roles, and the hype for the movie was as high as any movie, ever, without exaggeration.

It was initially slated for a summer 2019 release but then was pushed to the summer of 2020 to allow for "production to work out all the complex flight sequences," according to Deadline. Then the pandemic happened.

With everything across the country closing, including most movie theaters, Paramount Pictures made the wise but difficult decision to push the movie’s release date back to avoid empty or closed theaters. Other studios decided the best business decision was to release their movies direct to viewer stuck at home, using video-on-demand platforms. Trolls World Tour, for instance, made $95 million in three weeks streaming on-demand, which made Universal Pictures happy.

But Top Gun: Maverick was not the sort of movie to debut on a small screen. This was the type of movie that needed the full movie theater experience—a big screen with bigger sound and a full auditorium of fans—to enjoy it fully. “I make movies for the big screen,” their star Tom Cruise insisted. He didn’t want this movie debuting in homes.

After five separate delays and pushbacks, the $152 million sequel was pushed to May 27, 2022, Memorial Day Weekend, finally ready to debut two years after the original date.

As it turned out, Paramount and Tom Cruise made box office gold. The film opened to $160.5 million over the four-day holiday weekend. It went on to top $1 billion worldwide, which went down as Tom Cruise’s biggest movie ever. People were ready to return to theaters, especially for this movie which was teased in front of them throughout the entire pandemic.

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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