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'Top Gun: Maverick' Becomes Highest Box Office Grossing Military Movie of All Time

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The summer blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick” surpassed 2014’s “American Sniper” to become the top box office grossing military movie of all time this week.

According to Box Office Mojo, “Maverick” had garnered over $583 million in ticket sales worldwide as of Thursday, surpassing “American Sniper’s” total haul of approximately $547 million.

“Sniper” still holds the domestic box office crown with about $350 million in domestic sales to “Maverick’s” $322 million, but that record is soon to fall too, Military.com noted.

“Maverick,” the sequel to 1986’s top-grossing film “Top Gun,” is the first offering of 2022 to receive an A+ CinemaScore rating from moviegoers, explaining its strong legs at the box office two weeks into its run.

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“Maverick” set the record for a Memorial Day weekend release, taking in over $160 million domestically. It also marked the first $100 million opening weekend of actor Tom Cruise’s 40-year career.

Additionally, The Hollywood Reporter highlighted that the Paramount Pictures release set the record for the smallest second-weekend drop-off in sales out of any movie with a $100 million opening. “Maverick” ticket sales fell just 29 percent for a total of $90 million domestically.

By way of comparison, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” fell 67 percent and “The Batman” dropped 51 percent during their second weekends.

“Maverick’s” status as the top-grossing military movie does not take into account inflation.

Have you seen "Top Gun: Maverick"?

In today’s dollars, “American Sniper’s” worldwide box office total would be $668 million.

“Saving Private Ryan” — previously in second place — earned about $482 million worldwide in 1998, which would be $855 million in today’s dollars. The original “Top Gun’s” box office total was approximately $357 million worldwide, which would be $942 million now.

People the world over are clearly resonating with what “Maverick” has to offer: a strong patriotic story and great action.

A central message of the film is not to count America out: It’s still a force for good and security in a turbulent and violent world. After all, what does a U.S. aircraft carrier represent but a nation’s military might and presence?

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Without giving much away about “Maverick,” the mission that Cruise’s character — U.S. Navy Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell — oversees is the attack of a soon-to-be operational nuclear facility in what is identified as a “rogue” nation. Iran immediately comes to mind.

At the beginning of the movie, Adm. Chester Cain, played by Ed Harris, tells Maverick that his days are numbered. He’s a dying breed.

Maverick’s response is perhaps a slight concession that that day may come, but “not today.”

After the coronavirus lockdowns and all the weirdness and strife of the last few years, “Top Gun: Maverick” shows that people are hungry for unity and hope.

A version of this article originally appeared on Patriot Project.

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