Top Gun: Maverick Just Took An Incredible Box Office Award Away From James Cameron's Titanic

It’s no secret that Joseph Kosinski’s sequel Top Gun: Maverick is an historic achievement, breathing extremely necessary life into an unpredictable movie market and making fans out of famous directors such as Quentin Tarantino, who filed his rave review when he appeared on the ReelBlend podcast. The question no longer is “Will Top Gun: Maverick be a hit?” The question is, “How big of a hit will it be once the dust finally has settled?” Well, one more major indicator fell this past weekend when the Top Gun sequel passed James Cameron’s Titanic as the highest-grossing domestic release in Paramount Studios history. 

Any time you can take down the box-office juggernaut that was Titanic on any level, you are going to make headlines. So when Top Gun: Maverick pushed its domestic box office tally north of $662 million in tickets sold, it officially became the sixth-highest grossing U.S. release, and the highest one ever released by Paramount. 

Don’t shed too many tears for James Cameron, mind you. Globally, the director’s Titanic film is still outperforming Top Gun: Maverick by a wide margin, with $2.2 billion in total tickets sold to the roughly $1.3 billion worldwide that has been earned by Tom Cruise and company since opening. And of course, Avatar continues to be the box-office champ after a re-release in China pushed it ahead of Joe and Anthony Russo’s Avengers: Endgame.

We have to account for inflation, and the increase in the cost of a ticket to the movies nowadays, but any time that a movie earns the distinction of “highest grossing release in studio history,” it’s going to turn some heads. When Spider-Man: No Way Home arrived in theaters in December, it sold enough tickets to become the highest-grossing release in Sony Pictures Entertainment’s history, and we’d be shocked if another Sony release came close to topping it any time soon (considering the number two movie in Sony history is Spider-Man: Far From Home, so it will probably take another Spider-Man movie to threaten No Way Home).

What’s even more impressive about the numbers being posted by Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick is that, as reported by Variety, it’s doing it without the presence of China and Russia, two territories that used to contribute massively to a Hollywood blockbuster’s success, but that have become far less reliable in recent years. Top Gun: Maverick even made small changes to Maverick’s wardrobe to try and appease Chinese officials, but the movie still has not secured a release date in this still-coveted marketplace. 

The next movie in Top Gun: Maverick’s way on the domestic box office charts is Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, which posted $700 million in U.S. tickets sold. And that movie’s sequel could start to rattle some box office cages when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens in theaters in November. Keep it locked on CinemaBlend for news on that movie, and all of the Upcoming Marvel Movies heading to theaters for years to come.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.