Once upon a time, in a very different world, movies used to play for months. For example, back in 1986, a little movie called Top Gun opened in May and stayed in theaters for about half a year. Jump 34 years and the same may wind up happening to its belated sequel, which also opened in May and which is poised to re-enter the box office top three in its 12th weekend of release.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Top Gun: Maverick is expected to add another $6.6 million to its already sizable pile of cash. That should put it in third place, behind Bullet Train (with Tom Cruise’s former Interview with the Vampire co-star Brad Pitt) and DC League of Super-Pets. That might not seem like a lot of money, and in fact it’s slightly less than Maverick made the previous weekend, when it grossed another $7 million. But it’s a slow weekend at the box office, and $6.6 million is enough to bump it from sixth weekend, where it sat last weekend, up to the bronze.
There’s a reason why people keep seeing Top Gun: Maverick (apart from lots of people genuinely enjoying it): There’s really few other movies playing in movie theaters right now. Bullet Train is the last big budget movie of the summer. The A24 indie Bodies Bodies Bodies, with Pete Davidson in a supporting role, expanded nationally and is expected to at least crack the Top 10. There’s also the tiny thriller Fall, which is not.
And so, even though moviegoing appears to be back to almost what it was before the pandemic began, those hungry to go out to the movies are left with few alternatives but to go watch a pushing-60 Tom Cruise really fly in a fighter jet for real. Perhaps they’ll still be seeing it into the fall.