Box office: Top Gun: Maverick is a hit, even with older viewers

The majority of viewers of the Tom Cruise film were over 35 – and they made it a hit.

Grossing an estimated $124 million domestically and $151 million overseas, Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount) is a worldwide hit. Foreign interest in Skydance’s co-produced sequel, which focuses on the American military – and one that arrives decades after the original – is thanks to both the star and high-profile marketing, which included the Cannes premiere . This is also Tom Cruise’s biggest opening ever, including adjustments for inflation.

More importantly, Cruise’s return to the character that launched him to superstardom 36 years ago also marks a significant step forward for theatrical recovery.

It’s the highest opening gross for any non-comic film since December 2019. Its success is fueled by an audience that’s been slow to return. It’s also the rarest of creatures: a standalone film fueled by star appeal.

While “Maverick” wasn’t the biggest Memorial Day premiere, it may have had the highest average price per ticket of any blockbuster (thanks to recent price increases, including premium shows).

That weekend, excluding the Monday holiday, totaled $175 million. That compares well to 2019, which grossed $181 million and had greater depth (“Aladdin” accounted for half of that total, while “Maverick” accounted for over 70 percent). At 96 percent compared to three years ago, that’s a strong indication of recovery. The four-week rolling comparison to the same period in 2019 rebounded to 78 percent.

Perhaps the best part is how this was achieved. ‘Maverick’ had by far the greatest interest from older audiences of any film in the Covid era. A majority (55 percent) were over 35 years old. That’s very different from most top-grossing films, even in pre-Covid times. For the current environment, this is a big win.

Maverick’s audience was 37 percent between the ages of 18 and 34, with 34 percent non-white (lower than other top titles) and 58 percent male — minus the 62 percent of the first weekend of Doctor Strange.

The best news is the A+ Cinemascore. This is the same as “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (with its more than double beginning). Such an assessment means positive feedback across the board. Between the probability that adults will still lag a little behind, this points to a clear multiple. Feasible: $400 million domestically or more.

Linda Belcher (voiced by John Roberts) in THE BOB'S BURGERS MOVIE by 20th Century Studios. Courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All rights reserved.

“The Bob’s Burger Movie”

Courtesy of 20th Century Studios

The Bob’s Burger’s Movie (Disney) was the second wide studio opening, ranking #3 with $12,600,000. That was also a bit above expectations. Fox Animation’s spin-off of the TV series only matters for its theatrical release, rather than going straight to Disney+. Whether that interest satisfies Disney remains to be determined (including how well it holds up in the three weeks leading up to “Lightyear,” the next animated release).

Disney also came in second with “Doctor Strange” at $16.4 million, now just under $371 million. It should be the first release of 2021 to gross $400 million domestically.

The remnants varied greatly in endurance. Downton Abbey: A New Era (Focus) fell 63 percent over its second weekend, compared to 54 percent for the earlier film. The overlapping age appeal for “Maverick” despite differing genres (to say the least) likely accounted for this. “Downton” outperformed midweek; By normal calculations, it would forecast a weekend of $8 million to $9 million compared to the actual $5.9 million.

Two notable numbers among other top 10 titles. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) is now selling for just under $57 million. That number now surpasses “Parasite,” which is considered a top-grossing special release at $55 million (including the Oscar boost). While “Everything” isn’t non-English, it’s just as unconventional as Neon’s Korean hit. It could cost up to $65 million.

The Lost City

“The Lost City”


Sandra Bullock (assisted by co-star Channing Tatum) was key to taking The Lost City (Paramount) to over $100 million this weekend. This is another non-franchise title aimed at an older audience – in its case promoted by women.

Along with Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and now Maverick, that makes three Paramount films this year to top $100 million domestically. Only seven films have achieved that in 2022, and Paramount has the highest total.

Notable in the struggling limited specialty market are early results for two sold-out shows for the “Freakscene: the Story of Dinosaur Jr.” (Utopia). The rock documentary will have more than 70 similar screenings on Tuesday.

Neon debuted in two theaters with A Chiara and grossed a modest $5,000.

The top ten (3-day total)

1. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount) NEW – Cinemascore: A+; Metacritical: 78; European daylight saving time. Budget: $170 million

$124,000,000 in 4,735 theaters; PTA: $26,188; Cumulative: $124,000,000

2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Disney) week 4; Last weekend #1

$16,400,000 (-49%) in 3,805 (-709) theaters; PTA: $4,310; Cumulative: $370,774,000

3. The Bob’s Burgers Movie (Disney) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritical: 74; European daylight saving time. Budget: $

$12,600,000 in 3,425 theaters; PTA: $3,679; Cumulative: $12,600,000

4. Downton Abbey: A New Era (Focus) Week 2; Last weekend #2

$5,900,000 (-63%) in 3,830 (+10) theaters; PTA: $1,540; Cumulative: $28,479,000

5. The villains (Universal) Week 6; Last Weekend #3; also on PVOD

$4,630,000 (-25%) in 2,944 (-761) theaters; PTA: $1,573; Cumulative: $81,373,000

6. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Parent) Week 8; Last Weekend #4; also on PVOD and Paramount+

$2,520,000 (-38%) in 2,329 (-761) theaters; Tax: $185,139,000; Cumulative: $185,139,000

7. Everything everywhere at once (A24) week 10; Last weekend #6

$2,510,000 (-20%) in 1,189 (-389) theaters; Cumulative: $56,824,000

8. The Lost City (Parent) Week 10; Last weekend #9; also on PVOD

$1,795,000 (+15%) in 1,027 (-369) theaters; Price: $1,748; Cumulative: $

9. Men (A24) week 2; Last weekend #5

$1,225,000 (-63%) in 2,196 (-16) theaters; PTA: $558; Cumulative: $5,968,000

10. F3: fun and frustration (Independent Indian) Cinemascore: ; Metacritical:; European daylight saving time. Budget: $

$(estimated) 950,000 in 400 theaters; PTA: $2,375; Cumulative: $(est.) 950,000

Additional Specialized/Restricted/Independent Publications

Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr. (Utopia) NEW

$19,074 in 2 theaters; PTA: $9,537

A Chiara (Neon) NEW – Metacritic: 74; Festivals include: Cannes, New York 2021

$5,000 in 2 theaters; PTA: $2,500

family camp (Roadside attractions) Week 3

$227,590 in 572 (-489) theaters; Cumulative: $3,348,000

pleasure (Neon) Week 3

$14,730 in 33 (-11) theaters; Cumulative: $89,856

Montana history (Bleecker Street) Week 3

$97,217 in 290 (+266) theaters; Cumulative: $152,722

Jazzfest: A Story from New Orleans (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3 11

$1,805 in 6 (-5) theaters; Cumulative: $19,971

whirl (Utopia) Week 5; also on VOD

$8,448 in 16 (-8) theaters; Cumulative: $140,453

The Northman (Focus) Week 6; also on PVOD

$252,000 in 388 (-875) theaters; Cumulative: $33,790,000

Little mom (Neon) Week 6

$21,380 in 42 (-41) theaters; Cumulative: $755,509

The Duke (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6

$72,388 in 102 (-78) theaters; Cumulative: $1,329,000

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Lindsay Lowe

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