America’s Favorite Movie Of 2022 Was Also The Biggest Moneymaker

Top Gun: Maverick was the highest-grossing movie of 2022.

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

favorite movie Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick

We often discuss the idea of “blockbuster movies” and “cinematic masterpieces” as very different things, and it’s clear to see the difference between low-selling indie movies like Crimes of the Future and major blockbusters like Avatar: The Way of Water. But according to a recent OnePoll survey, America’s favorite movie was also its biggest commercial hit: Top Gun: Maverick!

The online survey was completed by 2,000 respondents. Of those respondents, 19% chose Top Gun: Maverick as their favorite movie of the year. That movie has made $1.48 billion at the box office, which means that, for nearly one in five respondents, the best film they saw this year was also one that completely rocked the box office.

If you’re not a fan, it’s easy to be skeptical that a blockbuster hit like Top Gun: Maverick could be America’s favorite movie, as well. Certainly, there are terrible movies out there that still bring in major box office: for example, Wild Hogs made more than a quarter of a billion dollars at the box office despite having a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it’s worth noting that Top Gun: Maverick has an insanely high 96% rating, showcasing that this movie is a hit with critics and audiences alike.

tom cruise top gun maverick

And if you’re still skeptical that Top Gun: Maverick could be America’s favorite movie, just look at the major honors it has received. For example, the film has received two Golden Globe nominations. On top of that, it received the title Best Film from the prestigious National Board of Review, and Cruise is on track to possibly win an Oscar.

To better understand why Top Gun: Maverick managed to become a favorite movie, it’s important to understand the competition it was up against. In the OnePoll survey, 17% of respondents said Jurassic World: Dominion was their fave, and 15% voted for Thor: Love and Thunder. This shows a general preference for blockbuster movies, though neither of those films achieved either the critical acclaim or box office success of Maverick and his new team of pilots.

Not everyone surveyed was into big blockbusters, though. In fact, 11% of people voted for the Brendan Fraser drama The Whale, and 11% also voted for Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, a quirky horror movie starring Pete Davidson and Lee Pace. Voters seemed split between action-packed blockbusters and more critically-acclaimed films, and Top Gun: Maverick became America’s favorite movie by providing solid action with tight writing and unforgettable performances.

Tom Cruise also deserves much of the credit for turning Top Gun: Maverick into a favorite movie for audiences around the world. In addition to starring as the titular Maverick, a renegade pilot who plays by his own set of rules, Cruise was very influential when it came to how and where the movie would premiere. Specifically, studios wanted Cruise to consider a streaming-only premiere, and it was only upon his insistence that this sequel film was exclusive to the big screen.

Ultimately, Top Gun: Maverick is a favorite movie for so many people because it effortlessly combines the slick action vibes of the ‘80s original with a modern meditation on getting back in the saddle one last time. It seems like a swan song for the character of Maverick, but not for Tom Cruise, who seems ready to return to the well yet again with two parts of Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning. Here’s hoping those movies can reach the cinematic heights that Cruise did once he stepped back into the cockpit for Top Gun: Maverick.