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What We’re All Missing About ‘Top Gun: Maverick’s’ Outrageous Success

The Tom Cruise sequel shattered one Hollywood rule that needs to die

We waited 36 years to see “Top Gun: Maverick,” and now audiences can’t wait to watch it again … and again.

Tom Cruise’s smash sequel scored $30.5 million over the weekend, and after five weeks of release, it bounced back to the top box office slot stateside. (UPDATE: “Elvis” beat “Maverick” by a nose)

That’s staying power.

Conservatives are tripping over themselves to praise the film’s woke-free storytelling, and that undoubtedly played a role in its success. What few are sharing is how “Maverick” shatters the notion that pro-America movies can’t sell overseas.

The proof? Nearly a half-billion dollars say otherwise.

Top Gun: Maverick | NEW Official Trailer (2022 Movie) - Tom Cruise

The sequel continues the tale of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, the superstar pilot now tasked with training recruits to carry out a dangerous mission. The film reunites Cruise with Val Kilmer, playing an older, more frail Iceman from the 1986 original.

Liberal film critics adore the film, and “Maverick’s” box office haul in the U.S. is a startling $521 million … and counting.

That makes it the year’s biggest hit, lapping “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” by more than $100 million.

The film’s worldwide total is even more impressive – $1 billion. That’s with a “B.”

Here’s a quick look at the film’s box office, to date, in other countries (courtesy of Box Office Mojo)

  • United Kingdom – $70 million
  • Australia – $39 million
  • Japan – $41 million
  • France – $27 million

That global tally comes without “Maverick” opening in a single Chinese theater. China hasn’t made an official announcement about the film’s release, but odds are it won’t happen anytime soon.

The production famously removed, and then put back, a Taiwanese patch on Maverick’s famous combat jacket. That simple act could be enough to prevent the film from hitting Chinese theaters.

Even worse, at least to Chinese censors?

The film’s all-American spirit, both via military might and brave Navy fighters willing to die for their country, should crush any chance of a Chinese theatrical run.

Yet that same patriotic bent, not as vibrant as the first time ’round but still present, should have hurt its box office overseas according to Hollywood logic. Global audiences, studios believe, reject stories that put America on a pedestal.

That didn’t happen.

Top Gun: Maverick Hits $1 BILLION At Box Office! | Tom Cruise Sends WAKE UP CALL To Woke Hollywood

Hollywood has, for years, avoided pro-America movies for fear they wouldn’t sell overseas. It’s similar to the fictitious canard that black-themed movies would similarly fail outside the U.S.

The 2018 smash “Black Panther” helped bury that notion, although Disney famously shrank black actor John Boyega’s face on some Chinese “Star Wars” posters.

So studios often alter content to appease global audiences, from aggressively kowtowing to China to snipping lines for fear of seeming too patriotic.

Remember, “truth, justice and all of that” from 2006’s “Superman Returns?”

The 2014 blockbuster “American Sniper” should have ended this pro-America notion a while ago. That Clint Eastwood hit snared $350 million in the U.S. and a whopping $197 million elsewhere. Once again, China chose not to release that film in its theaters.

Will “Top Gun: Maverick” inspire Hollywood to make more pro-America product? It’s unlikely. The industry’s progressive nature makes any patriotic narratives a tough sell — even if they crush the box office all over the world.

Now, though, they won’t have the same tired excuse for it.


  1. In top gun, Maverick loses a plane.
    36 years later he does it again.

    big woop

    entertaining movie and Connelly is still hot…

    go see it an be entertained.

  2. I’ve seen the movie and it was great. It had an appropriate number of minority/women characters, including some playing non-traditional roles. The plot was great and the characters well-developed, including the new characters who were somewhat descendant personalities of the original characters. It had its humorous moments, mostly at Maverick’s expense.
    When I saw the movie at our local theater I only saw one child in the theater. Everyone else was in their 50’s or older and obviously old enough to remember the original Top Gun. Pete Mitchell is definitely a flawed character who redeems himself through bravery, discipline and dedication to the mission. He is also loyal to his friends. Seeing Val Kilmer in his sad state portray a very ill Iceman brings a tear to your eye.
    This movie had a little bit of everything for people of my generation. Jerry Bruckheimer is a genius.

  3. Besides the woke stuff and the men bad/women badass trend. I think people are starting to get tired of super hero movies. They have over saturated the market. Hollywood has a problem with laziness and sticking with popular themes too long. Just think back at pirates, transformers. Instead of bringing out something new and creative they stick with the same old types and continue the repetitive and predictable story lines. They are doing the same thing with TV as well just boring. So although TopG was an older movie concept, it’s still a breath of fresh air from the smog we’ve been force to breathe as of late.

    1. It’s market forces, not laziness. If something works, why not stick with it until you wring the last penny of profit from it? Once that happens, something new will come to the fore.

  4. I’m confused about how “woke” became a pejorative term. Does it mean “aware”? TGM is certainly a lot more diverse than the first one – so does that make it woke or not? Either way – it’s just a great emotional, redemptive story. Maybe that’s why it’s so successful.

    1. There are a number of movies where messages of social justice have overshadowed the rest of the movie making the overall experience worse for people who just wanted to be entertained. Often movies made with these sensibilities in mind are essentially produced by committee which leads to disjointed narratives and robotic storytelling and broken continuities. Plus, many people go to see movies to escape reality and don’t want to think about the world’s problems. It can work to interject real world problems into a story if it is done subtly but lately some movies have really been ham-fisting it.

      The complaint that a movie is “woke” has to do with writing and narrative decisions as well as continuity, not the actual makeup of the cast.

    2. “Woke” is a pejorative! To suggest the term means “aware” is dishonest, as everyone knows it means to distort language, events and cultures as a means to normalize a minority behavior, even to the point of (1) presenting those behaviors as a majority, (2) demanding special privileges, (3) expecting everyone to kowtow to the minority and (3) shaming or demanding legal action against those who do not address someone by a made-up, grammatically incorrect pronoun. It’s all quite absurd.

    3. My opinion: Cosmetic diversity per se doesn’t equal woke, Diversity is but one point of the woke trident, as follows: Diversity, Inclusion, Equity (DIE). Or, if you prefer, the more appropriate Inclusion, Equity, Diversity (IED). Optics in a movie must be accompanied by obvious conservative villains, and lots of smack talk about America, family, religion, liberty, etc. You get the point.

    4. Woke has a crystal clear meaning. In a nutshell Woke means acceptance of the Progressive Fascism that the Woke corporations, billionaires, and politicians are using to attempt to replace the core American philosophy of Classical Liberalism. It means support of the Progressive Agenda – restructuring society with intersectional politics, blatant racism against Caucasians, censorship of non-Progressive Freedom of Speech, suppression of freedom of thought to exclude all non-Progressive opinion, unlimited government catering to the needs of all leftist constituencies paid for by high taxation on non-leftist constituencies Woke means government run for the benefit of the government and their billionaire donors and specific constituencies. Woke is opposed to the Philosophy of Classical Liberalism America was founded on – limited government, free enterprise, freedom of thought, speech, and belief, protection from onerous governmental action, border control via rule of law, empowerment of the individual not the state.
      The meaning of WOKE – the modern facism of the left combining the aristocracy of the wealthy owning and controlling an all-powerful Democrat ruling bureaucracy and the reduction of the middle and working classes to penury and dependence on the welfare plantation is crystal clear to anyone paying attention.

  5. While it’s nice to see a “non woke” movie doing well at the box office, does anyone think a reboot would have done as well (or even have made it to theaters) with Miles Teller or Glen Powell in the lead role?

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