Top Gun: Maverickwas a big box office hit this year, showing off the rewatchability of theatrical releases. Initially slated for release in May 2020, the film was delayed multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the film exclusively hit theaters in May 2022, it quickly became Paramount Pictures’ most successful film, overtaking Titanic’s original box office total with $1.22 billion worldwide

Top Gun: Maverick is an incredible box office story in an uncertain time for theatrical releases. Sony executives believe that if it wasn’t for their films testing the theatrical waters back in 2021, then Tom Cruise's highest-grossing film wouldn’t have performed as well. 

While speaking with Vulture,Sony’s presidents Sanford Panitch and Josh Greenstein emphasize how they took a chance releasing films in 2021 while most studios delayed their titles to the summer of 2022, saying: 

Greenstein: "When we first started releasing movies last October, there were really no other big movies. Everyone had pushed their big movies to this year, to this summer. We took a big gamble putting Venom in theaters. Then we doubled down with Ghostbusters. Then our biggest bet was when every other tentpole had fled, we tripled down with Spider-Man–our biggest, most important piece of IP."

Panitch: "There’s so much press about Top Gun right now. It’s like, ‘The movie business is back!’ In a weird way, I would say Top Gun is benefitting from us taking our shot. Venom is the start of that story that allows Top Gun to do the kind of business it did. These things don’t happen overnight. It's seeding."

Top_gun_maverick_success_'Top Gun: Maverick'Credit: Paramount Pictures

Sony did have a winning streak with the three big releases in the last three months of 2021, with its biggest success being Spider-Man: No Way Home. The film became the highest-grossing film since theaters shut down in March 2020, promising the slow return of big blockbusters to theaters. 

The success of Sony’s three big releases showed that people were wanting to return to theaters. While other films showed that audiences wanted to see big epics on the silver screen, Sony focused on their big films only having a theatrical release instead of a hybrid same-day-streaming release.

It might be a stretch to say that Sony deserves credit for the achievements made by Top Gun: Maverick. The action film is operating in a vastly different market from Sony’s most notable IPs, and its status as a legacy sequel has helped pull in audiences of all ages. I can't find a convincing argument to say that Venom: Let There Be Carnage is why we kept returning to the theater to watch Top Gun pilots take on an impossible mission. We will give Sony credit for helping keep the box office operating as best as it could throughout the pandemic when the industry sorely needed it. 

It is safe to say that we can give Sony some credit for its efforts and that Top Gun: Maverick has made its own success. We certainly will look back at the films released during the pandemic with odd fondness, thanking them for encouraging us to get back to the theaters, eat some popcorn, and celebrate our favorite IPs with fellow fans. 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Source: Vulture