As Top Gun: Maverick Soars, Box Office Total Still Lags

“Top Gun: Maverick” is a huge hit. It’s also the only film to gross over $10 million this weekend.

It’s stunning: “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount), then everything else.

Most of the box office reports this weekend focus on the unquestionably stunning results of Tom Cruise’s sequel. In 10 days of domestic play, it grossed $190 million ($357 million worldwide). A drop of just 32% in the second weekend suggests that it will go much, much higher and has the potential to become the highest-grossing 2022 release.

Its performance deserves all the accolades, but without the misleading information. “Maverick” will likely be Cruise’s biggest hit and a top 10 performer at Paramount. But unless you think ticket prices have been flat for the past 40 years — or ever — this gets undue credit for box office records.

His drop in the second weekend is indeed very small, but not the least; “Avatar” (which would have made an adjusted $100 million in its second weekend) fell less than 2%.

“Maverick” has an advantage that makes this more likely. Most movies that open over $100 million are sequels, with built-in awareness and the desire for audiences to see it right away.

Although it’s a sequel 36 years later, “Maverick” isn’t really a franchise. And with its appeal to older audiences, it had room to grow among a wider set of moviegoers thanks to its excellent word of mouth. Few movies get A+ Cinemascore scores let alone at this level of performance.

Another factor in its favor: unlike most great films released in the summer, “Maverick” lacked competition between holds or openings. That will change on Friday when “Jurassic World: Dominion” (Universal) debuts. It has already grossed $55 million in 15 initial territories and is expected to top the “Maverick” opening weekend.

In the meantime, it’s feast or famine. “Maverick” accounted for nearly 75% of weekend business and that’s a big deal for theaters.

It’s summer playtime. The same weekend in 2019 brought in $174 million, with just 67% more this year.

Not only is the total much lower, but the composition of the market is entirely different. In 2019, the top 10 saw two films gross over $40 million, three over $25 million, four over $18 million, five over $11 million. This year, only one – “Maverick” – earned more than 10 million dollars.

“Maverick” is impressive and critical, but it’s unhealthy. It will take more than unusual movies to get theaters back to normal.

It will improve next weekend and probably over the summer. For now, our four-week comparison to 2019 remains at 67% below.

“Future Crimes”

screenshot/neon

No new wide version was opened this week. Two hundred well-received independent film theater openings debuted in the bottom of the top 10. David Cronenberg’s much-talked-about “Crimes of the Future” is No. 9 with $1.1 million ( per theater, $1,423), while “Watcher” (IFC) is No. 10 with $815,000. But “crimes” fell 35% on Saturday compared to Friday. “Watcher” remained stable. The latter is the best opening ever for an IFC Midnight-branded release (most of their titles have limited debuts and often parallel VOD playback).

Note: Our top 10 doesn’t list Paramount’s “The Lost City” because much of its total includes drive-in dates with “Maverick.” This film includes the same numbers, which makes “City” a double count. (This is common and misleading industry practice).

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (Disney) will exceed $400 million and is currently No. 1 for the year, but “Maverick” will surpass it. The Marvel Movie dropped 42% and is No. 2. Meanwhile, “The Bob’s Burger Movie” (Disney) challenged the recent week two game for family titles and fell 64%.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) continues to be the flagship of specialty titles. Prior to his very late home availability this week, he is still No. 6 and is now over $60 million.

Few films can duplicate this performance, as “Crimes” and “Watcher” indicate. Specialized continues to evolve with some new titles trying limited initial releases, others opening in many major cities. Neither guarantees success.

Terence Davies’ “Benediction” (Roadside Attractions), near the peak of acclaimed releases this year, played in 91 theaters and grossed $47,650. “The Phantom of the Open” (Sony Pictures Classics), a comedy starring Mark Rylance in six major New York/Los Angeles theaters managed $26,000 ahead of a wider national release.

It is worth noting other non-traditional initial dates. “Deep in the Heart” (Fin & Fur), a Texas nature documentary, had a decent start of $126,000 in 69 theaters in that state. “Poser” (Oscilloscope), set on the independent stage in Columbus, Ohio, grossed $15,250 on its first theater date there. “Neptune Frost” (Kino Lorber), an African sci-fi musical with major previous film festival parts, grossed $10,000 on a single date in New York.

Top 10

1. Top Gun: Maverick (Priority) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$86,000,000 (-32%) in 4,751 (+16) theaters; PTA (average per theater): $18,101; Cumulative: $291,604,000

2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Disney) Week 5; Last weekend #2

$9,251,000 (-42%) at 3,765 (-40) theaters; APT: $2,457; Cumulative: $388,711,000

3. The Bob’s Burger Movie (Disney) Week 2; Last weekend #3

$4,500,000 (-64%) in 3,425 theaters (unchanged); APE: $1,314; Cumulative: $22,240,000

4. Villains (Universal) Week 7; Last weekend #5; also on PVOD

$3,340,000 (-24%) in 2,869 (-75) theaters; APT: $1,163; Cumulative: $87,291,000

5. Downton Abbey (Tweak) Week 3; Last weekend #4

$3,000,000 (-48%) in 3,451 (-379) theaters; APT: $864; Cumulative: $35,702,000

6. Everything everywhere at once (A24) Week 11; Last weekend #6

$2,021,000 (-18%) in 1,434 (+247) theaters; APE: $1,409; Cumulative: $60,562,000

7. Vikram (Premium) NEW

$(est.) 1,800,000 in 465 theaters; APT: $3,871; Cumulative: $1,800,000

8. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Priority) Week 9; Last weekend #7; also on Paramount+ and PVOD

$1,725,000 (-30%) in 2,092 (-237) theaters; APE: $; Cumulative: $188,269,000

9. Future Crimes (Neon) NEW – Metacrit: 67

$1,100,000 in 773 theaters; APE: $1,423; Cumulative: $1,100,000

10. Observer (IFC) NEW – Metacritic: 70

$815,000 in 764 theaters; APT: $1,067; Cumulative: $815,000

Mark Rylance in

“The Phantom of the Open”

Additional Specialized/Limited/Indie Versions

The Phantom of the Open (Sony Pictures Classics) NEW – Metacritic :; 65 festivals include: London 2021

$26,189 in 6 theaters; APT: $4,365

Blessing (Roadside Attractions) NEW – Metacritic: 81; Festivals include Toronto 2021

$47,650 in 91 theaters; APE: $523

deep in the heart (Fin & Fur) NEW

$126,250 at 69 theaters; APT: $1,830

Neptune Frost (Kino Lorber) NEW – Metacrit: 82; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto, New York 2021, Sundance 2022

$10,000 in 1 theater; TPA: $10,000

Setter (Oscilloscope) NEW – Festivals include: Tribeca 2021

$15,000 in 1 cinema; APT: $15,000

A Chiara (Neon) Week 2

$9,800 in 20 (+18) theaters; APT: $490; Cumulative: $17,648

Men (A24) Week 3

$401,423 in 991 (-1,205) theaters; Cumulative: $7,169,000

family camp (Road Attractions) Week 4

$146,870 in 403 (-169) theaters; Cumulative: $3,733,000

Jazzfest: A History of New Orleans (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 4 6

$54,804 in 302 (+296) theaters; Cumulative: $75,847

eiffel (Blue Fox) Week 6

$100,175 in 308 theaters; Cumulative: $308,303

Little mom (Neon) Week 7

$12,500 in 31 (-11) theaters; Cumulative: $792,310

The Duke (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7

$39,762 in 82 (-20) theaters; Cumulative: $1,409,000

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About Monty S. Maynard

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