Top Gun: Top at Box Office

One of the fighter jets that features in Top Gun: Maverick - The F/A 18 Super Hornet
One of the fighter jets that features in Top Gun: Maverick - The F/A 18 Super Hornet (source)

Top Gun: Maverick, the latest movie to feature Tom Cruise, is a box-office success. Earnings for the film have now surpassed those of Titanic (1997) in its initial run. Top Gun: Maverick’s global sales reached $US1.2 billion just seven weeks after worldwide release.

Maverick is the sequel to 1986’s Top Gun, a film about a training program for the best pilots of the US Navy. The original Top Gun was the first blockbuster of Cruise’s career. The two films have a lot in common: impressive fighter jet footage, competition and camaraderie between pilots, and subplots that focus on personal relationships.

The film was originally scheduled to come out in 2020, but it was delayed two years due to the global pandemic. Tom Cruise wanted the film to be released in cinemas before going to streaming, and waiting has helped its success.

Although Maverick has earned more than Titanic did in its initial release, Titanic is still the all-time earner for Paramount Pictures. This is thanks to successful rereleases at the cinema. As well, Titanic is third in all-time box-office takings globally, behind Avatar and Avengers: Endgame. Maverick, currently at twenty-second, continues to climb the charts.


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Worksheet with activities


Hear the article spoken:

Useful Language

  • Box office (n) - where movie tickets are sold
  • Feature (v) - to include as an important part
  • Earnings (n) - profit
  • Surpass (v) - to do or be better than
  • Initial (adj) - at the beginning
  • Footage (n) - film showing a particular event
  • Camaraderie (n) - feelings and interactions of friendliness among people who spend a lot of time together
  • Subplot (n) - a part of a story that develops separate from the main story
  • Rerelease (n) - when something is released again to be seen or bought
  • Takings (n) - earnings, profit


Discuss the following questions with your partner(s).

  1. Have you seen Top Gun: Maverick? How was it? If not, do you want to see it?
  2. Why is Tom Cruise popular? Do you like him and his movies?
  3. What makes some movies extremely popular?
  4. When a movie is successful and people are talking about it, do you feel like you must see it?
  5. A sequel is usually not as popular as the original film. Can you think of any other popular sequels?
  6. Are you more of a Top Gun: Maverick person or a Titanic person?
  7. Why are some people interested in fighter jets and other weapons of war?
  8. Do you like watching good movies again and again? Which movie would you like to be re-released so that you could see it at the cinema again?
  9. Do you like big-budget action movies? If not, what types of movies do you like?
  10. If you had to fight in a war, would you rather be a pilot, a sailor on a ship, or a soldier on land? Why?