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Box Office: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Passes ‘Dark Knight’ As ‘Lightyear’ Plunges 63%

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at January 1, 1970

As expected thanks to the Independence Day holiday weekend, Paramount and Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick continued to soar to infinity and beyond. Tom Cruise’s unstoppable legacy sequel earned another $7.15 million (-14%) to bring its domestic cume up to $545.6 million. That places it past the likes of Rogue One ($532 million), The Dark Knight ($534 million) and The Lion King ($543 million) to place 12th on the all-time domestic grossers list. We can expect another $27 million (-9%) over its sixth weekend and $34.5 million over the Fri-Mon holiday, bringing its domestic cume to a ridiculous $573.775 million by July 4. That’ll keep it in 12th place, temporarily behind Incredibles 2 ($608 million). It should be past $600 million by next Sunday or soon after, at which point it’s just a question of whether it ends closer to Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($620 million) and The Avengers ($623 million) or Jurassic World ($652 million) and Titanic ($659 million).

In terms of “biggest sixth-weekend gross” milestones, it’ll be between Avatar ($34 million) and Titanic ($25 million) for second place. Speaking of Titanic, where’s our dance remix of “Hold My Hand”? American Sniper’s sixth weekend ($30.6 million) was its third weekend of wide release. Frozen’s $28 million sixth weekend (+45% from weekend five over the Christmas/New Year’s frame) was its fifth weekend of wide release (it opened at the El Capitan five days before its Thanksgiving wide release). Top Gun: Maverick is pulling grosses on par with the James Cameron holiday mega-hits, give or take inflation. I’d expect a more reasonable drop next weekend after the holiday and against Thor: Love and Thunder, but the family-centric Minions sequel/Despicable Me prequel did little harm to Maverick. Again, a key part of the film’s leggy success is that it’s playing to demographics who otherwise wouldn’t go to the movies at all. The sky is truly the limit as it likely tops $1.1 billion over the weekend.

However, the rest of the top movies (with one obvious exception) are pulling their weight as well. Warner Bros.’ Elvis earned another $5.3 million (-58%) on its second Friday for a likely $17.5 million (-44%) Fri-Sun weekend and $22 million holiday frame. That’ll push the acclaimed and buzzy Baz Luhrmann-directed rock biopic past $70 million domestic by Monday night. Presuming a “normal” rate of descent (always a dangerous presumption as the breakouts over the last two years have been leggier than pre-Covid norms), the $85 million Austin Butler/Tom Hanks-led, 160-minute drama will end with over/under Dune’s $108 million finish. We’ll have overseas updates tomorrow, but it should be at around $115-$120 million for the global cume. The coming weeks (and the later territories) will decide whether it’ll crack $200 million worldwide, but it should be close. And, for what it’s worth, plenty of casually interested folks will be quick to check it out on HBO Max when the time comes.

Universal and Amblin’s Jurassic World Dominion earned another $4.51 million (-40%), likely benefiting from drive-in double-bills with Minions: The Rise of Gru. The dino threequel should earn around $16.2 million (-39%) over its fourth weekend and $20 million over the holiday for a new $336 million cume. That still positions Colin Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael’s franchise finale for a final domestic cume of around $365-$375 million and a global total of $910-$935 million. No, it won’t crack $1 billion global, mostly thanks to comparatively depressed grosses in China, so it’ll have to settle for merely quintupling its $185 million budget in raw theatrical grosses. Blumhouse’s The Black Phone earned $3.93 million (-62%) on Friday for a likely $11.93 million (-50%) second weekend and $14.14 million Fri-Mon gross. That will give it a $49.3 million 11-day domestic cume on a $19 million budget. Fun fact: Universal has three of the top five films with 71% of the total domestic weekend box office.

Pixar’s (pretty decent) Lightyear took another tumble, earning just $2.048 million (-63%) on Friday to pass $100 million domestic. The Pixar sci-fi actioner should earn around $6.51 million (-64%) in weekend three and $8.05 million over the holiday for a $107 million 18-day domestic cume. Considering the holiday weekend, this is another ghastly drop, especially as Pixar biggies (Toy Story 3, Monsters University, Inside Out, Finding Dory) and Illumination giants (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, Minions, Secret Life of Pets) have historically thrived concurrently. It’s now downright unlikely that Lightyear will reach even the $123 million domestic cume of The Good Dinosaur (let alone that film’s $332 million global cume), existing as Pixar’s second-lowest grosser behind (theaters globally shut down after its second weekend in March of 2020) Onward ($62 million domestic and $142 million worldwide). We’ve gone from zero Pixar flops from 1995 to 2013 to four Pixar flops between 2015 and 2022, all of which were “safe” boy-friendly adventure films.


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