“Top Gun: Maverick” Makes History — Again
Top Gun: Maverick has achieved Mach 10. In fact, if you’ve seen the film, you know that Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise, of course) does achieve the previously unthinkable when he hits Mach 10 in the opening sequence of the film, working as a test pilot for the Navy. The scene is thrilling and ends with Maverick, once again, getting screamed at by a Navy official (played by Jon Hamm, no less), only to be told he’s been summoned by an even higher-ranking officer, one Admiral Kazansky (you remember him from the original Top Gun as Iceman, played by Val Kilmer) to teach a bunch of Top Gun pilots how to handle a seemingly impossible mission.
In real life, the mission of the film, to delight and seduce millions of people back into the movie theater to see Cruise return to the role that made him famous way back in 1986, has been a massive success. Top Gun: Maverick has soared into the record books for the second weekend in a row.
After a historic opening over Memorial Day Weekend, Top Gun: Maverick zoomed to an astonishing $86 million haul in 4,751 theaters in North America in its second weekend. That’s a very tiny drop of 32% from its gangbusters opening, the smallest second-week drop for a movie that opened to $100 million or more. It’s proof of the film’s pull on moviegoers, who have poured into theaters to see Cruise and the cast flying in real Navy jets. Maverick‘s superb craft and emotional connection to the original have made it irresistible, highlighted by the relationship between Mav and Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of Mav’s long-dead best friend and radar intercept pilot, Goose (Anthony Edwards). Most blockbusters like Maverick see a significant drop after their opening weekend, even beloved, critically lauded, massively successful blockbusters like Spider-Man: No Way Home, which dropped 67% after its opening weekend. Yet Maverick keeps cruising.
So far, the global haul for the film is $548 million, which would be an incredible success even if you were measuring the movie by pre-pandemic standards. It’s also proof that the time everyone involved took to make sure they got Maverick right paid off. Filmgoers are responding to a film that was made with great care, and one that gives us some old-school movie magic with practical effects, big emotions, and a decent dollop of nostalgia. It’s a winning formula that, crucially, doesn’t feel formulaic.
It seems like a safe bet that Top Gun: Maverick could keep flying high into its third weekend in theaters.
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Featured image: Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Credit: Scott Garfield. © 2019 Paramount Pictures Corporation.