‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Still Won’t Start Streaming at Home Yet, Sorry

Top Gun: Maverick hit cinemas in time for Memorial Day’s kickoff of summer. Riding the lift of glowing reviews and a surge of moviegoers flocking to big blockbusters, it surpassed $1 billion at the box office worldwide. And in July, it eclipsed 45 days in theaters, the point when other movies by the same studio have started streaming.

But Top Gun: Maverick isn’t playing by the same rules.

Where will Top Gun: Maverick stream first?

Top Gun: Maverick is expected to stream first on Paramount Plus. The movie is distributed by Paramount Pictures, which is owned by the same parent company as Paramount Plus.

When is Top Gun: Maverick’s streaming release date to watch at home?

Paramount hasn’t set a streaming release date for the Top Gun sequel yet, but you should expect to have longer to wait. Its timing on Paramount Plus may take some cues from the company’s past patterns, but it’s best to believe Paramount executives’ comments that they’re willing to hold the flick in theaters for an unusually long period of time.

For past live-action movies, Paramount has tended to give them at least 45 days exclusively in theaters before making them available to stream on Paramount Plus. If Top Gun: Maverick had followed that 45-day timeline, it would’ve become available to stream on July 18, the day after it completed its 45th day in cinemas. Other Paramount movies — February’s Jackass Forever, March’s The Lost City and April’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 — all hit Paramount Plus on the 46th day after reaching theaters.

But Paramount doesn’t make movies available to stream like clockwork. Scream, which hit theaters late last year, took roughly a week longer, at about 53 days.

More importantly, Paramount has said it wants to keep Top Gun: Maverick in theaters longer than those other movies.

In May, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish indicated that Top Gun: Maverick wouldn’t follow the 45-day timeline, according to a report by The New York Times. Bakish was echoing comments by the company’s financial chief a couple of weeks earlier. “There are certain movies that are really made for the theatrical experience. Top Gun is a great example of that,” CFO Naveen Chopra said at an investor conference. “You should see that movie in a theater, and it will stay in the theater for a longer period of time.”

How much longer that “longer period of time” will be is anyone’s guess, for now.

Will it be ‘free’ to stream?

Some good news is that, yes, you aren’t likely to be charged anything extra to stream Top Gun: Maverick. Paramount Plus has never charged an additional fee to watch a movie on its service. And even though it has two different tiers, it’s never “paywalled” a movie behind the higher-priced membership level.

But Paramount Plus requires a paid subscription, so nothing on the service is literally free — unless you watch it while you’re signed up on a free trial. Paramount Plus offers a seven-day free trial standard for all new members.

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