To the surprise of everyone (except perhaps leading man Tom Cruise), Top Gun: Maverick blew apart the global box office to become the biggest movie of the year (so far) and one of the most accomplished Hollywood sequels in recent memory.
Director Joseph Kosinski’s action-packed tale of an ageing flying ace won over critics and audiences alike – we gave the movie five stars in our glowing review – and served as a timely reminder that Netflix and Marvel movies aren’t the only order of the day in 2022.
It’s no wonder, then, that Top Gun fans are eager to learn when they can enjoy the long-awaited return of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell from the comfort of their own homes. Details surrounding the film’s release on streaming services are still thin on the ground, but below, we’ve rounded up everything we know so far.
Let’s kick off with what know for sure – which is, admittedly, not a lot at this stage.
Right now, Top Gun: Maverick is not available to stream anywhere in the world, mainly because the movie only released in theaters on May 27. It’s likely to continue playing exclusively on the big screen until late July at the earliest, at which point its parent studio, Paramount, will make a call on its physical and video-on-demand (VOD) release dates.
The post-theatrical release schedule for the movie’s Paramount stablemate, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, does, however, provide a useful blueprint for when we can expect to enjoy the thrills of Top Gun: Maverick at home.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 became available to buy and rent on-demand around three months after its release in cinemas – if Top Gun: Maverick follows that pattern, we’d expect it to hit the virtual storefronts of Apple TV, Prime Video, Google Play and a handful of lesser-known platforms sometime between August and September. If and when it does, it’s likely to cost somewhere in the region of $7.99 / £4.49 to rent and $19.99 / £13.99 to buy.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is getting a DVD and Blu-Ray release at the beginning of August, some four months after its theatrical release, so, again, Top Gun: Maverick could follow that pattern with a physical release sometime between September and October.
Will Top Gun: Maverick come to Paramount Plus?
As for when Top Gun: Maverick is coming to streaming services, the jury is still out. The movie will almost certainly make Paramount Plus its exclusive home, but it’s not yet clear when it’ll become available to stream on the still-young platform.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 hit Paramount Plus the very same day as its VOD release (i.e. three months after its theatrical debut, in keeping with the studio’s other recent projects), but Top Gun: Maverick isn’t likely to follow this pattern given its stratospheric box office success.
As part of his bespoke movie deal, the film’s star, Tom Cruise, has the final say on when Top Gun: Maverick makes the jump to Paramount Plus – and reports suggest that Paramount are pushing him to agree to shorten the film’s 120-day exclusivity window in a bid to capitalize on its popularity (i.e. to drive more subscribers to Paramount Plus).
On the flip side, Cruise may lobby to extend Top Gun: Maverick’s theatrical release window in light of the movie’s stellar performance. He is, after all, a big believer in the cinematic experience, and it’s hard to see him signing off on a move that would bring his beloved big screen project to streaming services any sooner than absolutely necessary.
At present, then, we just don’t know when Top Gun: Maverick will come to Paramount Plus. As mentioned, Paramount movies have, for the most part, been hitting the streamer 120 days after their theatrical debuts, but Top Gun: Maverick could arrive earlier, on time, later – or potentially not at all. We’ll share more details when we have them.
Incidentally, Paramount Plus is now available in more regions than ever. The service recently launched in the UK, having debuted in the US last year, and costs $9.99 / £6.99 per month (or $4.99 per month for ad-supported viewing, if you’re in the US).
For our money, though, Paramount Plus isn’t yet able to compete with the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus – and studio executives will be hoping that Top Gun: Maverick changes that reality sooner rather than later.