Still Making Cash Registers Ring, 'Top Gun Maverick' Will Have To Wait For Paramount+ Streaming

Want to know why this year’s biggest theatrical movie -- Paramount’s “Top Gun Maverick” -- still hasn’t made a debut on the Paramount+ streaming service?

This headline should give you some insight: 'Top Gun: Maverick' Becomes the No. 1 Digital Sell-Through Title Ever.' This comes on top of its seemingly nonstop theatrical business.

When asked about the movie’s release on Paramount+ during an investor conference on Wednesday, Brian Robbins, president and CEO of Paramount Pictures, said “later this year.”

Hmm.. it’s almost mid-September already. To me, this means perhaps Paramount executives could be saying this behind closed doors: “Getting it on Paramount+? After we ring every digital purchase/theatrical ticket dollar out of this puppy.”



Earlier this week, Digital Entertainment Group said “Maverick” passed Universal’s “Jurassic World Dominion'' as the number-one movie when it comes to direct “sell-through” purchase. The price is $19.99. But Digital Entertainment Group didn’t offer many specific details.

How many customers? The studio isn’t saying. Paramount Global sell-though activities started up before Labor Day -- on August 23. Labor Day weekend can be a particularly slow period for theatrical marketers. So that seems like a good move.

At the same time, “Top Gun” -- now in its 15th week of theatrical release -- posted a weekend-leading $7.9 million. And remember, this came amidst a number of movie theater chains banded together this year to offer a much lower price $3 per ticket promotion under a special National Cinema Day event.

In addition, it has climbed to the fifth-best-performing domestic movie ever globally ($701 million) and $1.44 billion globally, according to Comscore.

Old-school theatrical release thinking has found its way back with major movie/TV studio executives:

While trying to grow their new streamer businesses, they are protecting their best monetization efforts for their best movie and TV content brands. And that means getting cash to the bottom line -- especially in theaters, as well as with direct-to-consumer transaction sales.

Previously, analysts believed many theatrically intended movies could provide streamers big tools to build business. Studios like WarnerMedia went overboard, putting an entire yearly slate of movies on HBO Max at the same time as their theatrical releases.

Now with skyrocketing TV and movie production and acquisition streaming costs -- as well as increased competition -- media companies re-emphasizing the bottom line that revenue big branded movies can offer.

Lastly -- although there is no mention so far -- you can be assured the enduring “Top Gun” franchise will almost certainly find another film version coming in the near term.

And maybe, just maybe, by then “Top Gun” movies will find some faster jets to the home entertainment consumers on Paramount+.

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