Sony boss says Venom 2 paved the way for Top Gun: Maverick's success

Venom 2 and Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Sony/Paramount)

For many, Top Gun: Maverick’s box office result has become a clear sign that the movie theaters have returned to pre-pandemic success. The Tom Cruise-led sequel has grossed more than $1.2 billion so far worldwide, making it the biggest 2022 film to date.

However, Sony motion picture group presidents Sanford Panitch and Josh Greenstein have suggested part of this success could be down to their earlier gambles. In particular, the duo pointed to Venom 2’s release.

The Marvel movie came out in September 2021 and was one of the first movies to release when movie theaters reopened after the pandemic. Despite taking in less than the first Venom, it grossed $506 million worldwide and was in the top seven movies at the box office in 2021.

"There’s so much press about Top Gun right now. It’s like, 'the movie business is back!'" Panitch told Vulture. "In a weird way, I would say Top Gun is benefitting from us taking our shot. Venom is the start of that story that allows Top Gun to do the kind of business it did. These things don’t happen overnight. It’s a seeding."

"We took a big gamble putting Venom in theaters," Greenstein continued. "Then we doubled down with Ghostbusters. Then our biggest bet was when every other tentpole had fled, we tripled down with Spider-Man – our biggest, most important piece of IP."

Sony has had some other big successes at the box office in the past year. Ghostbusters: Afterlife was released in November 2019, drawing in $204.4 million worldwide. Then in December 2019, Spider-Man: No Way Home earned $1.9 billion globally, making it the sixth-highest-grossing film of all time.

For more on upcoming movies heading to theaters, check out our guide to 2022 movie release dates.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.