Top Gun 2’s Box Office Run: Further Thoughts
With the second week of August already upon us it seems fair to say that Top Gun: Maverick has taken the box office crown for the season (and perhaps, the year). Not only did it have an extraordinary opening weekend exceeding even the high expectations for it, taking in over $160 million over the 4-day period. Its legs have been extraordinary, especially late in its run, the film’s grosses eroding only very slightly from week to week. The result is that where its merely doubling its opening weekend would have been respectable, it has already grossed four times that sum, with its take still climbing — according to Boxofficemojo.com, some $662 million in the bank as of last Sunday, after an $7 million gross in that eleventh weekend in theaters (a mere 17 percent down from the $8.4 million of the prior tenth weekend). The result is that where even fairly late into its run I had expected it to top out at a (spectacular) $550 million, that late-stage resilience makes it now appear quite capable of finishing north of the (even more spectacular) $700 million mark.
Just why has this film so totally proven an outlier? Certainly it has helped that the media has been very much on its side. Nevertheless, the public had to be responsive to the push — and it was rather more so than I expected given what seemed to me the film’s many liabilities in the present market (the sheer passage of time since the first Top Gun, the exhaustion of ’80s nostalgia after so many years of its exploitation, the habituation of the public to more fantastical and CGI-driven blockbusters, etc. ). Where this is concerned some have made much of the fact that Paramount eschewed the recent practice announcing a streaming date for the film, discouraging a critical part of the audience from just waiting and catching their film at home a few weeks later, increasing theatrical attendance. Perhaps. However, it seems to me that there is at least one obviously important factor generally getting overlooked, namely the weakness of the competition this summer. Instead of the usual eight-plus big action movies we typically saw through 2019 the summer of 2022 had just four, with the other three less than stellar performers by summer champion standards — helping clear the way for Top Gun 2 to do as well as it did by encouraging repeat business that would probably not have happened had there been more choices for fans of big-screen action.
Originally published at https://raritania.blogspot.com.