‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Won’t Stream When It Hits Theaters May 24, Sorry


Top Gun: Maverick is set to hit theaters May 24, and it’s already piling up glowing reviews. But the COVID-19 pandemic, with its profound disruptions to movie-release norms, has stirred up a lot of confusion about how long fans must wait before a new movie hits a streaming service.  

Where will Top Gun: Maverick stream? 

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?

Paramount hasn’t yet confirmed a streaming release date for the Top Gun sequel. But understanding the company’s past practice can help make educated guesses about when it’ll be available to stream. 

For movies similar to Top Gun, 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 follows a 45-day timeline, it’ll become available to stream roughly around July 9. 

But Paramount doesn’t make films available to stream like clockwork. Jackass Forever, released in theaters in February, landed on Paramount Plus almost exactly 45 days after hitting cinemas, and March’s The Lost City did too. But another recent Paramount movie — Scream, which hit theaters late last year — took roughly a week longer at about 53 days. 

And Paramount may choose to keep Top Gun: Maverick in theaters longer because it’s a megabudget, blockbuster-style movie; these so-called “tent pole” films rely on box office success more than other movies do. Some rival distributors are already doing the same with their tentpoles: Disney has been keeping Marvel movies only in theaters for more than two months, nearly as long as theatrical exclusives lasted pre-pandemic. 

Will it be ‘free’ to stream? 

Paramount Plus has never charged an extra 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. 

Paramount Plus requires a paid subscription, though, 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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