Top Gun: Maverick success is indebted to Venom 2, Sony claims

Tom Cruise in Top Gun Maverick and Tom Hardy in Venom 2Paramount Pictures/Sony Pictures

Top Gun: Maverick is one of the biggest movies of all time – but it might not have been, had it not been for Venom 2, Sony’s presidents have claimed.

Cynics had their reasons to doubt Top Gun: Maverick. Some believed there wasn’t an appetite for a sequel to a blockbuster dating back to the ’80s. Others felt Tom Cruise’s star appeal wasn’t enough to convince people otherwise. It was almost like people were willing it to flop.

They know better now. The movie’s mighty wings at the box office have seen it gross more than $1.23 billion, outperforming Lord of the Rings, Minions, and several MCU entries. It’s the most successful movie of Cruise’s career by a huge margin, and people are still going to see it.

Is it because of its killer mix of nostalgia and contemporary goodness from One Republic and Lady Gaga? Is it the death-defying, awe-inspiring aerial cinematography? Is it the old-school “dudes rock” joy of it all? No, it’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage, apparently.

Venom 2 deserves credit for Top Gun: Maverick, Sony bosses say

In an interview with Vulture, Sony’s Motion Picture Group presidents Sanford Panitch and Josh Greenstein spoke about Sony’s role in getting moviegoers back to cinemas in 2021, which they believe to be a key factor in Top Gun: Maverick’s success.

An image of Carnage in Venom 2Sony Pictures
Venom 2 paved the way for Top Gun: Maverick, apparently.

Greenstein said: “When we first started releasing movies last October, there were really no other big movies. Everyone had pushed their big movies to this year, to this summer.”

“We took a big gamble putting Venom in theaters. Then we doubled down with Ghostbusters. Then our biggest bet was when every other tentpole had fled, we tripled down with Spider-Man – our biggest, most important piece of IP.”

Venom: Let There Be Carnage landed a $90 million opening weekend last year, the biggest since global restrictions shuttered cinemas across the globe. Ghostbusters: Afterlife grossed more than $204 million, while Spider-Man: No Way Home shattered box office records with $1.901 billion worldwide.

Top Gun: Maverick is “benefitting” from Venom 2

Panitch said: “There’s so much press about Top Gun right now. It’s like, the movie business is back!

“In a weird way, I would say Top Gun is benefitting from us taking our shot. Venom is the start of that story that allows Top Gun to do the kind of business it did. These things don’t happen overnight. It’s a seeding.”

Of course, the Sony chiefs conveniently omitted Morbius from their reasoning.

Top Gun: Maverick is in cinemas now.