Marvel’s Days Numbered as ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Receives Highest Praise Possible

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Tom Cruise as Maverick in 'Top Gun'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Last year, Top Gun: Maverick (2022) soared to the top of the box office, grossing $1.489 billion worldwide, proving that there’s still a place in movie theaters for traditional blockbusters, and that the landscape is no longer dominated by Marvel.

That pattern continued with Jurassic World Dominion (2022) devouring over $1 billion during its theatrical rampage, and towards the end of the year, the long-awaited sequel Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) passing the $1 billion milestone in just two weeks.

Tom Cruise as Maverick in the cockpit
Credit: Paramount Pictures

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Now, James Cameron’s sci-fi epic has passed $2 billion worldwide, and is currently the third highest-grossing film ever. But while Maverick sits at 12th place and has grossed half of what The Way of Water has made, it recently received the highest praise a film can get.

At the recent Academy Luncheon, iconic director Steven Spielberg was caught on video telling legendary movie star Tom Cruise, who starred in Spielberg’s Minority Report (2002) and War of the Worlds (2005), that he “saved Hollywood” with Top Gun: Maverick.

Check out the video below:

Related: Tom Cruise’s ‘Top Gun’ Surpasses Iconic MCU Movie With New Record

“You saved Hollywood’s ass,” Spielberg can be heard telling Cruise. “And, you might have saved theatrical distribution. Seriously. Maverick might have saved the entire theatrical industry.” Cruise appears humble to receive such kind words from a director like Spielberg.

Both Spielberg and Cruise are titans of the entertainment industry. Spielberg’s directorial efforts include several classics, such as Jaws (1975) — “the first blockbuster” — the Indiana Jones films, Schindler’s List (1993), and Jurassic Park (1993), to name but a few.

Lex Murphy eating jello in Jurassic Park
Credit: Universal Studios

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Cruise has starred in and produced several iconic blockbusters himself, with the Mission: Impossible film series alone having so far grossed $3.5 billion worldwide. The seventh instalment, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One (2023), hits theaters later this year.

As was the case with Maverick, the upcoming Mission: Impossible sequel has undergone significant delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Cruise has worked incredibly hard to help preserve the future of the entertainment industry in movie theaters by ensuring his films don’t go straight to the streaming services like many others have.

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) in Mission Impossible Fallout
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Related: Tom Cruise’s Face Cost Marvel Thousands of Dollars

Previously, Spielberg condemned streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+, addressing the negative impact they have on movie theaters, so it’s really no surprise that he’s absolutely thrilled with what Cruise has done for the entertainment industry.

Along with directors such as Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, Spielberg has also been very vocal about the over-saturation of Marvel superhero movies.

Kiri (Sigourney Weaver) smiling in 'Avatar: The Way of Water' (2022)
Credit: Disney

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Now, refreshingly-traditional blockbusters Top Gun: Maverick, Jurassic World Dominion, and Avatar: The Way of Water have officially saved the movie theater industry, having so far grossed a combined $4.7 billion worldwide.

Each of these films have also dethroned major Marvel films at the box office. Now, it looks like the traditional blockbuster is back with a vengeance, while Marvel is currently suffering from fatigue, while Phase Four has left a lot to be desired.

Now that traditional blockbusters are officially back on the scene, are Marvel’s days numbered?

Tom Cruise in the cockpit in Top Gun: Maverick
Credit: Paramount Pictures

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As per Paramount Plus, here’s the official synopsis for Top Gun: Maverick:

After more than 30 years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.”

Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.

Avatar: The Way of Water is in theaters now. Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) will be released on June 30, while Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning — Part One releases on July 14.

Are you happy that traditional blockbusters have made a comeback? Are Marvel’s days numbered? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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