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‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Lands Triumphantly on Opening Weekend


Euphoric reviews and robust word of mouth helped boost ticket sales, which easily surpassed prerelease analyst expectations. “Top Gun: Maverick” received a rare A-plus grade from ticket buyers in CinemaScore exit polls. Paramount also backed the discharge with a savvy marketing campaign that included a monumental premiere on an aircraft carrier; a video stunt with James Corden that went viral; promotion by a whole bunch of TikTok and Instagram influencers; an internet site allowing fans to generate customized call signs with augmented reality photos; and original songs by Lady Gaga. As ever, Cruise trotted the globe on a tightly controlled publicity tour.

In america, concerns concerning the coronavirus appear to have faded. About 85 percent of prepandemic ticket buyers (those attending at the very least 4 movies a 12 months) currently feel secure going to theaters, in line with polling by National Research Group, a movie industry consultancy. In January, about 65 percent felt secure. N.R.G. data shows that buyers usually view movie theaters as safer than gyms, bars and restaurants.

“That is the actual turnaround,” said Mooky Greidinger, the chief executive of Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, the No. 2 multiplex chain in america. “We’re very, very optimistic for the remainder of the 12 months.” He noted that a big percentage of “Top Gun: Maverick” ticket buyers opted for premium-priced screenings in large-format theaters equivalent to IMAX. “Give us every weekend a movie like ‘Top Gun!’” he said.

For the primary time since early 2020, Greidinger and other theater owners are going to get their wish. The box office has struggled to bounce back partially due to sporadic output by studios. “We might have a very big one after which nothing to follow that up,” Fithian said. “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” as an example, was a juggernaut in late December and January, taking in $1.9 billion worldwide. Nevertheless it also had theaters largely to itself, with February almost devoid of big-budget offerings.

Within the weeks ahead, Hollywood will serve up a murderers’ row of sequels and prequels, including “Jurassic World: Dominion,” “Lightyear,” “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Other high-profile summer offerings include “Where the Crawdads Sing,” “Elvis” and Jordan Peele’s “Nope.” Theater owners even have high hopes for “The Black Phone,” a Blumhouse thriller, and “Bullet Train,” starring Brad Pitt.

“There may be finally a spread of options for moviegoers of every kind,” Fithian said. “Moviegoing begets moviegoing,” he added, with trailers shown in theaters one weekend fueling attendance the subsequent.

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