At this year’s Academy Awards luncheon on Monday, Hollywood icon Steven Spielberg paid Tom Cruise a high compliment, suggesting that his latest film “Top Gun: Maverick” may have single-handedly rescued the entire film industry.
The action-packed blockbuster, which was released in May 2022, has achieved a staggering global box office revenue of $1.48 billion.
Spielberg told Cruise: “You saved Hollywood’s ass, and you might have saved theatrical distribution. Seriously, ’Maverick’ might have saved the entire theatrical industry.” See below for video.
Despite the rise of streaming services during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tom Cruise was adamant that his latest film, “Top Gun: Maverick,” be released exclusively in theaters. It’s a decision that seems to have paid off handsomely, as the action-packed blockbuster has grossed an impressive $1.48 billion worldwide since its May 2022 release.
Spielberg told The New York Times in December: “The pandemic created an opportunity for streaming platforms to raise their subscriptions to record-breaking levels and also throw some of my best filmmaker friends under the bus as their movies were unceremoniously not given theatrical releases. They were paid off and the films were suddenly relegated to, in this case, HBO Max. The case I’m talking about. And then everything started to change.”
Other films have also performed well at the box office in 2022 include: “Jurassic World: Dominion” earning over $1 billion globally since its June premiere, and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru” bringing in almost $1 billion each since their May and July releases. However, the most successful film of the year was “Avatar: The Way Of Water,” which premiered in December and went on to earn an astounding $2.2 billion worldwide.
The highly successful “Top Gun: Maverick” has earned a nomination for Best Picture, alongside a diverse array of other contenders. The nominees include the war epic “All Quiet On The Western Front,” the long-awaited sequel “Avatar: The Way of Water,” the Irish drama “The Banshees Of Inisherin,” the biopic “Elvis,” the genre-defying “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical film “The Fabelmans,” the thriller “Tar,” the dark comedy “Triangle Of Sadness,” and the drama “Women Talking.”
Spielberg continued express his beliefs that movie directors must work together to push streaming services to allow their films to be exhibited in theaters for awards, rather than just releasing them on streaming platforms, suggesting that the effort must come from the industry as a whole. Spielberg acknowledged that some films are suitable for streaming, but others should be given a chance to be shown in theaters, emphasizing the importance of keeping theaters open and preventing them from going bankrupt.
“I think there has to be a concerted effort on the part of movie directors to demand that the streaming services footing the bill for most of these films give their movies a chance to be exhibited theatrically and not just in four theaters to qualify for awards. It’s going to have to come from all of us — the WGA [the Writers Guild], the DGA [the Directors Guild], and eventually the academy,” Spielberg expressed.
“Certain movies are perfectly suitable to the iPad or the living room. So the decision that executives and executives like myself at Amblin Partners have to make is: Do we consign this movie to a streaming service or this other movie to a four- or six-week theatrical window? … We don’t want these chains to file Chapter 11. We want theaters to stay open,” he finished.
steven spielberg telling tom cruise to his face, “you saved hollywood’s ass. and, you might have saved theatrical distribution. seriously. MAVERICK might have saved the entire theatrical industry.” i have to lie down. pic.twitter.com/nYbWbgadM7
— amanda (@marisatomay) February 14, 2023