Now that the calendar year is drawing to a close, and Hollywood has hung its “Gone Fishin’” sign on the front door, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water has a clear path to box office domination, pummeling movies like Damien Chazelle’s Babylon and crossing the $1 billion mark at the global box office. It has been the story of December. But let’s not let the Avatar success steal focus away from the fact that the movie of 2022 has been, and will continue to be, Top Gun: Maverick – a movie you can now watch with a Paramount+ subscription. In fact, once the summer blockbuster landed on the streaming service, it instantly set a record.
Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick landed on the Paramount+ streaming service on December 22, and since then has raced to become the most-watched film to ever debut on the platform, according to Deadline. The previous record holder for most-watched movie on Paramount+ was Sonic the Hedgehog. And while the company doesn’t provide official numbers for either film – because streaming math is such a mystery – Deadline claims that Top Gun: Maverick passed Sonic in views by 60 percent.
Which basically means that Top Gun: Maverick was a massive hit on Paramount+, as basically any of us could have predicted. The movie has been an audience magnet since opening in theaters, and seemed prime to reconnect with crowds once it made its way to streaming. Let’s just hope that the majority of the people who watched Tom Cruise take to the skies in Top Gun: Maverick weren’t seeing the movie for the first time. Because that film was designed to be seen and enjoyed on the largest screen possible, and your home theater – no matter how sophisticated – isn’t doing Kosinki’s film justice.
There was even a ripple effect to Top Gun: Maverick arriving on Paramount+, as it was reported that streams of the original film soared roughly 400% since the sequel arrived. Additionally, the Mission: Impossible series, also starring Cruise, saw an increased interest to the tune of 140 percent. Tanya Giles, Chief Programming Officer for Paramount Streaming, commented on the surge of interest in these titles by saying:
Now we will wait to see if Top Gun: Maverick can succeed in one place where people seem to still be on the fence: At the Academy Awards. We started speculating about the movie’s chances to win Best Picture as the year drew to a close, and it had a strong showing at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. These could demonstrate awards momentum with the Academy, who have to appreciate the landmarks the legacy sequel has passed. We’ll see when the final list of Oscar nominations come out early next year.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean 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.