Top Gun: Maverick is approaching yet another box office milestone – it could surpass Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi on the list of all-time box office earners. According to The-Numbers.com, Maverick is currently at number 12 on the list while The Last Jedi is at number 10. After well over a month in theaters, it looks like Maverick probably still has the fuel to reach that height.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi reportedly earned $620,181,382 at the domestic box office during its run. At the time of this writing, Maverick has earned $586,371,113. Those numbers are not adjusted for inflation, and in today's economy that could seriously skew the data. Still, there's no denying that Maverick is still climbing and it has a strong chance of overcoming another franchise megalith. Meanwhile, Maverick has earned another $544.5 million at the international box office for a total gross of over $1.1 billion worldwide. The Last Jedi topped out at over $1.3 billion worldwide.
This is just the latest in a long string of successes for Top Gun: Maverick, which is generally being credited with setting the bar for a post-COVID theatrical release. It is the second movie since the pandemic to top $1 billion at the box office – the first being Spider-Man: No Way Home – and is the highest-grossing movie of Tom Cruise's entire career. Those with superhero fatigue were also pleased to see Maverick beat Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and The Batman.
Circumstances are clearly very different from the release of The Last Jedi. It was the second movie in the Star Wars "sequel trilogy," following the commercial success but critical uncertainty of The Force Awakens. The Last Jedi was the third Star Wars movie ever to make $1 billion and set the bar high for the franchise, though critically it suffered a long and complicated dissection process after its release.
The Last Jedi likely remains the most divisive movie in the Star Wars franchise. Some fans hated the way it subverted their expectations and turned pulp cinema tropes on their heads, while others appreciated it for breaking the mold in this well-worn subgenre. It seems safe to say that the sequel, Rise of Skywalker, was more reviled overall, but some fans blame The Last Jedi for the very existence of Rise of Skywalker, so in that sense, it still sits at the bottom of the food chain.
The Last Jedi and the rest of the Star Wars movies are streaming now on Disney+. Top Gun: Maverick is still in theaters all over the U.S.