Box Office: 'Top Gun 2' Is Paramount's Biggest Blockbuster Since 'Titanic'

With $2 million on Monday, Tom Cruise's Top Gun: Maverick will today pass $600 million in raw domestic grosses. That keeps it in twelfth place behind Incredibles 2 ($609 million), Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($620 million) and The Avengers ($623 million). Once it passes those films, as early as the end of this weekend, it's a longer climb to the lifetime totals of Jurassic World ($652 million) and Titanic ($659 million). The original 1997/1998 theatrical run of Titanic, which saw the Kate Winslet/Leonardo DiCaprio melodrama top the weekend box office for 15 straight weekends, totaled $600.7 million. So, sans the 2012 3-D reissue (and obviously sans the upcoming Valentine's Day 2023 rerelease already on tap), Top Gun: Maverick is now Paramount's biggest domestic grosser ever. Heck, it's one of their biggest domestic earners ever even when adjusted for inflation. It's their biggest "tickets sold" smash since the James Cameron shipwreck masterpiece.

'Jurassic World 3' Tops $800 Million As 'Lightyear' Continues To Crash

In box office news that isn't about Minions: The Rise of Gru or Top Gun: Maverick, Warner Bros. Discovery's Elvis held on over the holiday against some brutal competition. Baz Luhrmann's $85 million rock biopic, starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, earned another $19 million (-39%) over the Fri-Sun part of a likely $22.5 million Fri-Mon holiday haul. That will give Elvis a $71 million 11-day cume, positioning it for a domestic finish essentially tied with Dune ($108 million).

It earned another $15.7 million overseas (-28%) for a new $113.5 million global cume, which sets the film up (give or take huge breakouts in Latin America or South Korea on the week of July 15) for a global finish of around $190 million. However, considering the reviews, buzz and lack of (non-horror) biggies for grown-ups between now and Bullet Train on August 5, I'd expect a $200 million-plus finish' about in line with Rocketman in the summer of 2019.

Jurassic World Dominion earned $15.65 million (-41%) in weekend four for a $331 million 24-day cume/$336 million 25-day domestic total. Colin Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael's $185 million dino threequel has earned $492.7 million overseas for a new $824.5 million global cume. It might not make it to $1 billion (it's only going to earn around $130 million in China versus $227 million and $267 million for the previous two Jurassic World movies), but Amblin will cope with merely quintupling the budget purely from theatrical earnings.

'Morbius' Flops Again But 'Doctor Strange 2' Tops $900 Million

In holdover weekend box office news not related to Top Gun: Maverick ($86 million domestic for a $292 million domestic/$548 million global cume), Walt Disney and Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness crossed $900 million worldwide. The Benedict Cumberbatch/Elizabeth Olsen MCU sequel earned another $9.3 million (-42%) in its fifth weekend of domestic release and $11.4 million overseas. It has now earned $388.7 million domestic and $520.7 million outside of North America for a whopping $909.4 million global cume. No, it won't crack $1 billion, but that's just about not getting that pre-Covid $100-$150 million from China (and revenue lost in Russia and Ukraine). However, considering it's "just" a Doctor Strange sequel, this is a towering performance and a reaffirmation of the MCU brand.

20th Century Studios' Bob's Burgers: The Movie earned $4.45 million (-64%) in its second weekend for a $22.2 million ten-day domestic (and $23.9 million worldwide) total. The fans and casually curious who wanted to see this animated musical in theaters did so over Memorial Day weekend. It should finish just over/under $30 million domestic. DreamWorks Animation's The Bad Guys grossed another $3.34 million (-24%) in weekend seven for an $87.3 million domestic cume from a $23.5 million debut weekend. Once again, DWA toons are incredibly leggy in almost every circumstance. The $80 million toon has earned $218 million worldwide, including $39 million in China. Downton Abbey: A New Era earned $3 million (-48%) in weekend three for a $35.7 million domestic and $77.1 million worldwide cume.

Marvel's 'Thor 4' Is Racing Past $400 Million Worldwide

In Thor: Love and Thunder box office updates, Marvel's latest action fantasy earned another $8.9 million domestically for a new six-day total of $178.9 million. It'll end its first week with around $187 million, a lower "weekend to day seven" multiplier than the other MCU mid-summer releases (Ant-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Black Widow). Trouble on the horizon? Maybe, but it's still legging better than Eternals ($91 million in a week after a $71 million debut), and I'm expecting a significant (especially for Marvel) second-weekend drop anyway. Those films mostly took harsh 61-67% second weekend plunges only to (save for Black Widow, which was also available on Disney+ for an extra $30) recover and leg out over the summer. We might not know the full domestic projection until weekend three.

Factors are working against it, like mixed reviews, word-of-mouth' and awareness that the Taika Waititi-directed film will be on Disney+ after 45 days. However, it's not like the movie got reviews and buzz on par with Morbius, and it's still the only big live-action kid-friendly tentpole between now and Black Adam on October 21. Unless Jordan Peele's Nope, David Leitch's Bullet Train or Olivia Wilde's Don't Worry Darling turn out to be fun for the whole family (and not just cool families like mine), the closest thing to demographic competition will be Warner Bros. Discovery's DC League of Super-Pets on July 29. Oh god, the irony if a DC animated film opens big *and* undercuts Disney's big MCU sequel. That would be a double-barreled whammy, but I surmise they can both thrive concurrently.

Will Drive-In Movie Theaters Make a Comeback?

Drive-in movie theaters were once a mainstay of the American cinema landscape. Hundreds of these outdoor gathering places existed across the country and were immensely popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Drive-in culture remained a huge deal for decades, but their popularity began to wane as the new millennium began. In 2020, only 306 drive-in theaters remain in operation across the country, the last remnants of a nearly extinct tradition.

But that could soon change. In the wake of forced theater closings and the implementation of social distancing, the film industry has been sent back to the drawing board. While many studios have taken the route of releasing new films straight to digital platforms, the fun of seeing a movie on a big screen is not easily replaceable. To this end, a recent partnership between Tribeca Enterprises, IMAX, and AT&T will see the introduction of a summer movie program that will play a selection of films at drive-in theaters across the United States. "We're excited to give people something to look forward to this summer and reinvent a classic movie-going experience for communities to enjoy together safely," said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro in an official statement.

While no specific titles have been announced for the event, selected films are said to cover new, classic, and independent releases. The involvement of IMAX means the best image and sound quality possible, as well as a large library of digitally remastered films to use for the screenings. After years of decline, it seems the drive-in movie theater may finally be getting the second chance it deserves.

Daniel DiManna, The NewsWheel

'Top Gun' movie sequel moved to December as coronavirus hits home

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The release of the much anticipated movie sequel to "Top Gun" has been moved to December, Paramount Pictures said on Thursday, the latest disruption in the movie industry caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

"Top Gun: Maverick," starring Tom Cruise, was originally scheduled to open in movie theaters worldwide on June 24 more than 30 years after the original movie launched his career as a global action star.

The delay to Dec. 23 was the latest in a series of blockbuster movies that have been delayed, including the new James Bond film "Never Say Die" and Disney's "Mulan," because of the coronavirus that has closed movie theaters in the United States and much of Europe and Asia.

"Top Gun: Maverick," picks up decades after the 1986 box-office hit and features actor Miles Teller as the son of Anthony Edwards' pilot Goose, who is killed during a training exercise in the first movie.

Most of the big movies that make up the lucrative summer season in North America have been postponed. But Hollywood studios are hopeful theaters will reopen and crowds will return in late summer.

Paramount said on Thursday that the animated "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run", previously scheduled for a May release, would now open on July 31.

"Wonder Woman 1984" from Warner Bros has also been rescheduled from June to Aug. 14.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant and Lisa Richwine, Editing by Franklin Paul and David Gregorio