An object in motion will stay in motion, as the supersonic jets of Top Gun: Maverick have proven.
The Tom Cruise-led action-adventure sequel continued to punch a hole in the sky as ticket sales did better than anticipated this weekend. Its domestic earnings added another $86 million to the total, which marks the smallest decline ever for a film that opened to a higher than $100 million first weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sure, it’s a weird stat, but it’s also a little bit of a weird movie. (Just who, exactly, was hiding nuclear armaments inside a box nestled between impenetrable mountain ridges? Eh, never mind, enjoy the ride.)
As Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and crew make their return to Monday, Top Gun‘s receipts are projected to be $291.6 million in North America and $548.6 million globally. The film’s propulsive thrust in foreign markets is especially notable considering the movie is not screening in China or Russia.
Top Gun: Maverick is now Cruise’s top-grosser domestically, flying past War of the Worlds at $243.3 million and Mission: Impossible—Fallout at $220.2 million. (THR notes that recent Mission: Impossible films have outdone the Joseph Kosinski-directed aviation epic internationally, due to their distribution in China and Russia.)
The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced picture’s success has also launched no shortage of essays. Despite the film’s deliberate apolitical stance, many have found ways to read (or perhaps project) politics into the text. (As a wise man once said “if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”) Meghan McCain wrote in Britain’s Daily Mail that the film is a triumph of anti-wokeism. But an op-ed on CNN’s website argued that the sequel actually sweeps away many of the original’s dusty stereotypes, but does so in subtle ways. The Guardian wrote that the movie actually is conservative, “it’s just a more streamlined version of the conservatism of (contrary to these ding-dongs’ assertions.)” (And here I thought people dug it because jets were zooming around to “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”)
There is no word about a possible third chapter in the Top Gun saga.
Tom Cruise has the next Mission: Impossible (with the subtitle Dead Reckoning Part One) on tap for next summer with director Christopher McQuarrie, who has a co-writing credit on this latest Top Gun. And considering Maverick had been shelved during the pandemic, as per Cruise and Paramount’s wise bet that it should wait for the big screen, director Joseph Kosinski’s next movie is just around the corner. Spiderhead, based on a short story by George Saunders, starring Chris Hemsworth, Jurnee Smollett, and Miles Teller will debut on Netflix on June 17. This makes the third Kosinski-Teller collaboration after Top Gun: Maverick and the underseen firefighting epic Only The Brave.
Elsewhere at the box office, the offbeat Everything Everywhere All At Once from the directing team known as Daniels crossed the $60 million mark at the domestic box office after 11 strong weeks in specialty theaters. David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future starring Viggo Mortenson, Lea Séydoux, and Kristen Stewart earned but $1 million, its financial failure ensuring the Canadian director further status as a misunderstood genius.