Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of Top Gun: Maverick, explains why the sequel outperformed Marvel and DC comic-book films. Bruckheimer, who produced both the original and the new Top Gun, has been a hugely successful fixture in Hollywood for decades. He is the man behind films like Bad Boys, Pirates of the Caribbean, Beverly Hills Cop, National Treasure, and many more that have left a lasting legacy of quality.
Given the 35-year gap between the original and the sequel, Top Gun: Maverick’s success is surprising. Top Gun: Maverick, which was just recently surpassed by Avengers: Infinity War as the sixth highest-grossing movie domestically, was directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion) and once again featured Tom Cruise in the lead role. Top Gun: Maverick, which has earned $1.4 billion at the global box office, has also surpassed DC movies like Aquaman and The Batman from this year, reclaiming the title from the comic book genre for the first time in a very long time.
Bruckheimer says that viewers “have been seeing so much CGI” over the years as he compares the success of Top Gun: Maverick to comic book movies from Marvel and DC in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. The Maverick is all about the real deal, and while he doesn’t think this is a bad thing, he adds that “it’s also nice to see the real deal.” Here is Bruckheimer’s complete response:
“The audiences love the Marvel, they love the DC stuff. They’re beautifully made by really talented people. Sometimes you want to see something that’s real, and that’s what Top Gun gave us… These aviators are out there protecting our country right now, flying around the world, and you’re taking a ride with them. You’re seeing what they do, you’re seeing what their life is like, and the trials and tribulations that they have to go through. You’re actually experiencing it with our actors.”
August 23 marks the release of Top Gun: Maverick on Blu-ray and streaming, which will undoubtedly help it set more home video records. That doesn’t mean, however, that it has stopped setting records at the box office. Top Gun: Maverick, which has a domestic total of $683 million right now, has a chance to surpass Black Panther, which is currently in fifth place with $700 million, if it continues to play in theaters for a long enough period of time. Top Gun: Maverick would probably take the top spot there with Avatar’s $760 million gross (if it goes that far).
Ironically, it was never anticipated that Top Gun: Maverick would become as popular as it has, but it has shown that quality can triumph over anything, especially when audiences recognize it. While the movie’s success won’t necessarily prevent comic book movies from being made, it will probably pave the way for more movies like Maverick to be released in theaters. Hopefully, a third Top Gun sequel won’t take another 35 years to come out. Nevertheless, it may serve as a useful lesson for Marvel and DC, demonstrating that, as opposed to mass-producing spectacle movies, letting things develop naturally can enhance their anticipation, caliber, and reception.