Top Gun: Maverick hit theaters in time for the summer’s Memorial Day kickoff — and with the lift of rave reviews and a wave of moviegoers flocking to major blockbusters, it’s approaching $1 billion at the box office worldwide. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed how quickly movies start streaming, and it seems like each new film follows a different timeline for when you can watch it at home.
For Top Gun: Maverick, you may be waiting longer than the new normal.
Where will Top Gun: Maverick stream?
Top Gun: Maverick is expected to stream first on Paramount Plus. The film is distributed by Paramount Pictures, which the same parent company owns as Paramount Plus.
When is the release date of Top Gun: Maverick?
Paramount has yet to confirm a streaming release date for the Top Gun sequel, and until it does, it’s hard to predict the streaming release date. Understanding the company’s past practice can help make educated guesses about when it will be available to stream. Still, the company has already said that Top Gun: Maverick will follow different rules.
For movies similar to Top Gun, Paramount tends to give them a minimum of 45 days exclusive in theaters before making them available to stream on Paramount Plus. If Top Gun: Maverick follows a 45-day timeline, it will be open to flow around July 9.
But Paramount doesn’t make movies available to stream like clockwork. February’s theatrical release Jackass Forever, March’s The Lost City, and April’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 all made it to Paramount Plus on the 46th day after hitting theaters. But another recent Paramount movie — Scream, which hit theaters late last year — lasted about a week longer, about 53 days.
And Paramount will probably keep Top Gun: Maverick in theaters longer than those other recent films.
In May, according to a New York Times report, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish indicated that Top Gun: Maverick would not follow the 45-day timeline to Paramount Plus. He echoed the company’s chief financial officer’s comments a few weeks earlier. “There are certain movies that are made for the theatrical experience. Top Gun is a good example of that,” CFO Naveen Chopra said at an investor conference. “You should see that film in the cinema, and it will stay longer.”
Until Paramount confirms a date, it’s hard to predict when the streaming release will be.
Will it be ‘free’ to stream?
Paramount Plus has never charged an additional fee to watch a movie on its service. And while it has two different tiers, it’s never a movie “paywall” behind the more expensive membership tier.
But Paramount Plus requires a paid subscription, so nothing of the service is free — unless you watch it while signing up for a free trial. Paramount Plus offers a seven-day free trial for all new members.