‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Reaches $1 Billion Revenue Milestone — Without China

Many Americans have rushed to theaters to see “Top Gun: Maverick,” which has been widely celebrated as a “woke-free” and unabashedly pro-America.

The film continues to climb the record books, sitting 15th all-time domestically. This doesn’t account for the impact of inflation.

After five weeks since its release, the “Top Gun” sequel has reached $1 billion worldwide despite being banned in China and Russia. This is the first film released in 2022 to reach this milestone as well as the first-ever starring Tom Cruise to do so. In the U.S. and Canada, the film has pulled in $521.7 million.

A Chinese investor backed out of financing the film because of the film’s pro-America message, but Paramount Pictures did not let this impact production. The Chinese tech company Tencent Holdings Ltd. initially invested millions to take a 12.5 percent stake in the film, but then backed out.

The Wall Street Journal reported, “Tencent executives backed out of the $170 million Paramount Pictures production after they grew concerned that Communist Party officials in Beijing would be angry about the company’s affiliation with a movie celebrating the American military, according to people familiar with the matter.”

“Association with a pro-American story grew radioactive as relations between the U.S. and China devolved, the people added. The about-face turned ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ from a movie that once symbolized deepening ties between China and Hollywood into a fresh example of the broader tensions forming between the U.S. and China.”

The film is the biggest debut for a movie in actor Tom Cruise’s 40-year career. Without spoiling the movie, Tom Cruise wears a leather jacket with a patch that “commemorates a U.S. battleship’s tour of Japan, Taiwan and the Western Pacific in 1963-1964.”

Audiences in Taiwan reportedly cheered seeing the patch.

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The film “Elvis” debut with $30.5 million, which tied “Top Gun” thus far.

After Sunday’s revenue reports come in, this will sort out which film won the weekend.

More on this story via Breitbart:

About 60% of the audience for “Elvis” was over the age of 35. Older audiences have been among the most hesitant to return to theaters in the pandemic but that’s changing — in part, Goldstein noted, because of “Top Gun,” which brought back fans of the 1986 original.

“Elvis,” which cost about $85 million to make, was propelled by strong reviews (78% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), good word of mouth (an A- CinemaScore) and a glitzy Cannes Film Festival premiere. It added $20 million overseas over the weekend…

The “Elvis”/”Top Gun” showdown — along with the new Blumhouse horror release “The Black Phone” and big holdovers in “Jurassic World: Dominion” and Pixar’s “Lightyear” — made for one of the most competitive, and busy, weekends in movie theaters in the pandemic era.

Most studios came away celebrating, though Disney’s “Lightyear” dropped a steep 65% in its second weekend. After opening softly last week, the “Toy Story” spinoff grossed $17.7 million domestically, falling to fifth place. “Lightyear,” which has made $152 million worldwide to date, will soon face more competition for families with the Friday release of “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”