Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick has been blazing a trail in theatres across the globe, already raking in $300 million barely four days after its release — a record for the action hero and the Memorial Day weekend.
As much as fans go ga-ga over Cruise now, it was the original Top Gun and Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell that made the then 24-year-old actor a household name and an action star. Released in 1986, Top Gun was a thrilling ride that changed the script on how Hollywood viewed action films and paved the way for several action stars of the future. IMDb, in a recent By the Numbers episode, broke down the statistics behind the OG classic — the 1980s Top Gun.
THE LONGEST WAIT
Top Gun: Maverick hit the screens 36 years after the original — the longest gap between a film and its sequel.
Despite a paltry $15 million, Top Gun raked in a massive $357 million in the global box office, making it the highest-grossing film of 1986.
THE FIRST INFLUENCER
Sales of Aviator sunglasses skyrocketed following the release of Top Gun. Originally made for the US military, Aviator sunglasses had been around since 1937. But the release of Top Gun saw sales go up by as much as 40%.
DIRECTOR FIRED. THRICE!
The film’s production wasn’t always smooth. The studio fired director Tony Scott thrice due to production and budget disputes. Despite the frequent problems, however, Scott invested $25,000 of his own money to complete the film.
F14 JET FUEL COST
The thrilling shots of the US Navy jets also came at a considerable cost as the producers shelled out $7,800 per hour to fuel the F14 jet.
Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins became a cult hit following the film’s release and went nine-time platinum. Berlin’s romantic single Take My Breath Away, on the other hand, won an Academy Award and the Golden Globe.
TOO MUCH PDA?
High-speed jet action apart, the film also had Cruise’s Maverick swooning over Charlie (Kelly McGillis), with nine kiss scenes between the two making the final cut.
LOTS OF FLYING
The film had 21 jet exhaust shots, 28 side shots, and 16 missile lock shots.
Such action can get pulses racing even among those not militarily inclined and make them feel, as Maverick would put it, the “need for speed”.