Top Gun: Maverick has enjoyed strong box office takings in its opening weekend, sparking film industry hopes that the sequel will help revive cinemagoing following the pandemic.
The film, starring Tom Cruise, took $248m in cinemas worldwide, with $124m from North America and the same figure in 62 international markets at the weekend.
It represents the biggest ever opening for a Tom Cruise film, coming in at 28% ahead of 2018’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
Paramount opened the tentpole film in 4,732 theatres in the US, the widest release of all time. There it landed one of the top pandemic-era openings after Spider-Man: No Way Home ($260 million), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($187 million) and The Batman ($134 million).
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The share prices of major cinema operators such as Cineworld and AMC rallied over 15% each on Monday as investors mulled the opening figures for Top Gun: Maverick.
Cinema attendance has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels in most markets, with surveys showing that many audiences have lost the habit or turned to streaming services. Older audiences in particular have been harder to lure back to theatres, and exhibitors hoped that many older fans of the original 1986 Top Gun movie would return again for the sequel.
The Paramount-Skydance produced action sequel is directed by Joseph Kosinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.
Paramount delayed releasing Top Gun: Maverick during the pandemic, waiting until cinemas reopened so it could launch the film theatrically rather than debut it on streaming services. By contrast, many studios opted to release their films direct to streamers, cutting out the cinemas.
Exhibitors are hoping that a range of upcoming movies, like Jurassic World Dominion (June 9), Elvis (June 24) and Jordan Peele’s Nope (July 22), will continue to entice audiences beyond the typically popular Marvel fare.
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