The Paramount movie, which sees Tom Cruise as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell again decades after the popular 1986 version, took home the top spot at the US box office during Labor Day weekend, earning $7.9 million for the four-day holiday.
As a result, “Maverick” became the first movie in history to top the box office on both Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.
It’s only one of the movie’s significant financial accomplishments. In terms of ticket sales, it surpassed the $700 million mark, passing Marvel’s “Black Panther,” to become the fifth highest-grossing movie in North American history. Since its May release, it has earned $1.4 billion globally.
Another indication of “Maverick’s” staying strength is the fact that it currently has a domestic box office multiple of about 5.5, which implies that it has made 5.5 times as much as it did in its debut weekend. That is unheard of in modern Hollywood, where the majority of significant films have a multiple of about 2.5.
But “Maverick” viewers persisted in visiting cinemas throughout the summer, and as a result, the movie earned at least $1,000,000 for 75 straight days.
This kind of sustained success not only attests to the film’s high quality (96% on Rotten Tomatoes) but also offers a traditional success tale at a time when movie theatres desperately needed one.
According to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore (SCOR), “there are not enough adjectives to describe the importance of the box office performance of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ to the industry, having come at a time when naysayers remained skeptical of the ability of the movie theatre to draw audiences.” Truly a pivotal moment.
Simply said, Hollywood no longer makes summer blockbusters like this.
While a few recent films, such as “Avengers: Endgame” from 2019 and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” from 2021, have performed pretty well, these films are often “front-loaded,” which means that they perform quite well on opening weekend before faltering the following week.
A movie that won’t take off
Dergarabedian isn’t overstating the significance of “Maverick” to cinema operators and Hollywood this summer when he says: The movie contributed 13% to the year’s total domestic box office.
And that doesn’t fully convey its symbolic significance. The release of “Maverick” coincides with a turning point for cinemas, which are attempting to resume normal operations following the pandemic’s devastation. By offering the kind of high-budget movies that were formerly exclusive to cinemas, streaming services like Netflix (NFLX) and Disney+ have also gained a greater hold on customers.
However, “Maverick” insisted on playing on the largest screens available, which served to bring back fond memories of going to the movies for millions of people who had been away for months or even years.
According to Dergarabedian, Tom Cruise and Paramount “went all in on the moviegoing experience.” “That wager paid off big and, in the process, cemented Cruise’s place as probably the last real movie star while showing that there is no alternative for the movie-going experience,” said one observer.
However, recent weeks have seen a dearth of summer blockbusters at the movie office, with either Hollywood production concerns holding them back or direct streaming. Two upcoming blockbuster sequels, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” in November and “Avatar: The Way of Water” in December, won’t be in cinemas for a few months.
Can any of those movies soar as high? Only time will tell. However, “Maverick,” a film that never quite takes off, is still being enjoyed by Hollywood and theatergoers today.