Director Steven Spielberg appears to have accidently admitted just how terrible a state Hollywood is in by praising Tom Cruise and Top Gun: Maverick for saving Hollywood.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 07: (L-R) Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg attends the Los Angeles premiere of West Side Story, held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California on December 07, 2021. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios)

In a video posted to Instagram by The Elephant Whisperers director Kartiki Gonsalves, Spielberg is seen greeting Cruise before telling him, “You know, you saved Hollywood’s ass, and you might have saved theatrical distribution.”

Spielberg then repeated, “Seriously, Top Gun: Maverick might have saved the entire theatrical industry.”


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A post shared by Kartiki Gonsalves (@kartikigonsalves)

RELATED: ‘Top Gun’ Producer Jerry Bruckheimer Explains What Made ‘Maverick’ Such A Hit

Top Gun: Maverick made $718.7 million in domestic theaters and another $767.4 million at international theaters for a global gross of $1.486 billion. 

The film was the top grossing movie at the domestic box by far in 2022. It’s closest competition was Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and that film only raked in $438.2 million domestically. Avatar: The Way of Water grossed $425.5 million domestically and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness grossed $411.3 million.

Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

Internationally, Top Gun: Maverick fell behind Avatar: The Way of Water, which grossed $1.565 billion. However, it still defeated Jurassic World: Dominion, which grossed $626.9 million and Minions: The Rise of Gru, which brought in $569.8 million internationally.

The film was the second highest grosser 2022 globally, only behind Avatar: The Way of Water. That film grossed a total of $2.2 billion. It beat out Jurassic World: Dominion, which raked in just over a $1 billion and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which grossed $952 million.

Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

RELATED: Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story Bombs At The Box Office After He Used Hispanic Racial Slur

YouTuber Price of Reason speculates that Spielberg’s comments don’t just pertain to the business and numbers side of Top Gun: Maverick’s success.

Rather he posits, “I think people know that Top Gun: Maverick is one of the only movies in recent years that didn’t focus on a bunch of identity politics, or trendy agendas, or anything like that. It just gave the people a nice wholesome movie. Something with a positive male figure. Something that we don’t see often and people responded well to it.”

Price of Reason adds, “One can only hope that this type of acknowledgement perhaps can serve as a wake-up call to Hollywood because if they want to continue to exist, and to make money they have to give people what they want.”

Price of Reason then noted, “The reason why I also see this as a really big win: take into consideration how Top Gun: Maverick was received when it came out. You had a bunch of articles coming out and trying to wrap their head around why this movie was doing well and trying to explain it’s not good to be patriotic and all this other stuff.”

“The bottom line is this: Tom Cruise is one of the only stars in Hollywood that he has the type of pull that he could just make the movie exactly the way he wanted it. He also insisted on releasing it in a theater. And at the end of the day, people reacted because they liked what they were seeing,” he declared.

Monica Barbaro and Tom Cruise on the set of Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

RELATED: Top Gun: Maverick Review – Tom Cruise Sets A New Standard For All Film Sequels

Later in the video, Price of Reason asserted, “Basically, Tom Cruise just exposed the whole Hollywood system and the face that somebody like Steven Spielberg is acknowledging the work that Tom Cruise did with this movie only shows that perhaps internally they’re starting to recognize a few things or understand a few things.”

“I feel at the end that level-headed business people that want to make money will ultimately have to understand that if they want to survive as an industry they have to give the people what they want. And Top Gun: Maverick was a movie that people wanted,” he reiterated.


As Price of Reason notes, Top Gun: Maverick flew in the face of the overarching narrative coming out of Hollywood that woke identity politics sells and the only reason that the plethora of propaganda movies like The Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Charlie’s Angels that failed at the box office was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

That narrative was completely destroyed by the success of Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

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As for Price of Reason’s optimism that Hollywood might course correct, every indication coming out of the major studios points to that not being the case. Returning Disney CEO Bob Iger doubled down that wokeness would be baked into their films and television programs.

Iger stated, “This company has been telling stories for a hundred years, and those stories have had a meaningful, positive impact on the world. And one of the reasons that they’ve had a meaningful, positive impact is one of our core values is inclusion, acceptance, and tolerance. And we can’t lose that. We just can’t lose that.”

James Gunn’s newly announced DCU slate also appears to be heavily influenced with the woke identity politics agenda.

Long-time Batman writer Chuck Dixon observed, “Some of the things seem extremely underwhelming. Some of the things seem to exist only to check boxes. Quite frankly, I don’t care. I know you don’t want to hear that, but I don’t care. I’ve never seen a DC movie, DC-based movie that I’ve liked ever. And I don’t think I’ll ever see one.”

“And now that they’ve moved far, far away from the source material I really just have no interest,” he said.

RELATED: Steven Spielberg Explains He Didn’t Use English Subtitles In West Side Story Because It Would Give “The English Power Over The Spanish”

Even Spielberg embraced woke identity politics with his West Side Story film. Speaking to IGN, Spielberg said, “I didn’t want to subtitle any of the Spanish out of respect for the inclusivity of our intentions to hire a totally Latino, Latinx cast to play the Shark boys and girls.”

He elaborated, “That was a mandate that I put down to Cindy Tolan, who cast the movie, that I’m not going to entertain any auditions of anybody who isn’t… Parents or grandparents or themselves from Latinx countries, especially Puerto Rico.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 29: Bob Iger (L) and Steven Spielberg attend the New York premiere of West Side Story on November 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios)

“We have 20 performers in our film from Puerto Rico or they are Nuyoricans,” the director said. “And that was very important. And that goes hand in hand for not subtitling the Spanish.”

He then declared, “If I subtitled the Spanish, I’d simply be doubling down on the English and giving English the power over the Spanish.”

“And this was not going to happen on this film. I needed to respect the language enough not to subtitle it,” he concluded.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 29: (L-R) Ariana DeBose, Steven Spielberg, and Rachel Zegler attend the New York premiere of West Side Story on November 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios)

What do you make of Spielberg seemingly revealing just how bad a state Hollywood is in?

NEXT: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Director Joseph Kosinski Hints At Possible Sequel While Detailing Grueling Aerial Stunts

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    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.