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'Top Gun: Maverick' Still Won't Stream Anytime Soon, Sorry

You may be waiting until December to stream it. Here's everything to know.

Tom Cruise, in Top Gun: Maverick, flies upside-down in a jet over snowy mountains
Top Gun: Maverick is landing in your living room.
Paramount Pictures

Top Gun: Maverick hit cinemas for Memorial Day's kickoff of summer. Riding a wave of glowing reviews and a surge of blockbuster-goers, the Tom Cruise-starring sequel surpassed $1 billion at the box office worldwide to become the year's top-grossing movie. It's the only film in history to be No. 1 at the box office on Memorial Day weekend at the start of summer and on Labor Day weekend at the end of it.

Months ago, the long-awaited jet-fighting reprise eclipsed 45 days in theaters. That's the point at which other Paramount movies became available to stream -- but Top Gun: Maverick is still missing. With this movie, Paramount isn't playing by the normal rules.

Can I watch Top Gun: Maverick at home? 

Yes, but it isn't available on any streaming subscription. For now, home digital sales are your only option. Starting in late August, it went on sale in online stores like Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Vudu. In most online stores, it costs $20. 

It will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD starting Nov. 1. 

Its streaming release date hasn't been announced. 

What service will stream it first? 

Top Gun: Maverick will become available to stream as part of a subscription on Paramount Plus first. The movie is distributed by Paramount Pictures, which is owned by the same parent company as Paramount Plus.  

When will Top Gun: Maverick start streaming?

Paramount hasn't set a streaming release date for the Top Gun sequel yet -- but it won't happen before November, and you may be waiting as late as December.  

Earlier this month, Paramount Pictures CEO Brian Robbins said Top Gun: Maverick will "end up on Paramount Plus this year." But Robbins also said that its streaming release would come after the "home entertainment window" has played out. With digital sales only having only just started in late August, and with DVD and other physical formats not arriving until November, that potentially sets Top Gun: Maverick on a course to reach Paramount Plus, at the very earliest, in mid-November. 

But a December arrival is more likely. This week, Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish said the company's fourth quarter would be "capped" by Maverick hitting Paramount Plus, suggesting the streaming release date may be close to the end of the year.  

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 films available to stream like clockwork. Scream, which hit theaters late last year, took roughly a week longer, at about 53 days. More importantly, Paramount said it wanted to keep Top Gun: Maverick in theaters longer than those other movies. In May, Bakish indicated that Top Gun: Maverick wouldn't follow the 45-day timeline, according to a report by The New York Times, which echoed 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." 

Now that home-viewing options, all of which you have to pay for individually, have become available, Paramount will be keeping the film off Paramount Plus until those types of sales have run their course. 

Will it be 'free' to stream? 

Paramount Plus requires a paid subscription, so nothing on the service is 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. Otherwise, it offers a subscription supported by ads for $5 a month and an ad-free tier for $10 a month. 

But some good news is that 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 has never "paywalled" a movie behind the higher-priced membership level.