Top Gun: Maverick Passes $1 Billion While Elvis and The Black Phone Open Strong

Top Gun: Maverick has been a resounding success for Paramount as the legacy sequel grossed $30,500,176 (-31.7%) in its fifth weekend — narrowly beating out new release Elvis ($30.5 million) — to fly its way back up to first place after coming in third last weekend. This is Tom Cruise’s first $1 billion grosser, and it’s so refreshing to have a non-Marvel film top that feat.

A still from Elvis courtesy of Warner Bros.

Coming in fresh this week was a Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic of the “King of Rock and Roll,” Elvis, and the Ethan Hawke-led horror flick, The Black Phone. The former was beat out by Top Gun: Maverick by a mere $176 dollars but still grossed an impressive $30.5 million in its inaugural weekend which narrowly beats out The Lost City ($30,453,269) as the highest non-IP (yet) domestic opening of the year. It should be kept in mind that this is an estimated figure and it could very well end up beating out Elvis when the final numbers arrive given the small margin.

(from left) Director Scott Derrickson and Mason Thames on the set of The Black Phone.

The Black Phone opened to a healthy $23,370,000, which is the second-highest opening for a horror film this year, only trailing Scream, the fourth sequel to the 1996 film of the same name.

Taking a hefty fall was Pixar’s Lightyear. The Buzz Lightyear origin film dropped from second to fifth place in its second weekend open, grossing $17,669,000 (-65.1%). While the film has still got a bit of a theatrical life to go before hitting Disney+, its $88.7 domestic haul is not an inspiring start to a film that will likely finish in the lower half of Pixar’s all-time domestic gross leaders.

A still from Lightyear courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.

A 30% Rotten Tomatoes score apparently won’t stop Jurassic World Dominion from a strong theatrical run (though it has a 77% from audiences). The film grossed $26,440,180 (-55.3%) in its third weekend and still finished third after sitting atop the box office charts last weekend. The film still has a long way to go if it hopes to catch either of the Jurassic World movies, the first grossed $652,270,625 during its domestic run ($1.6 billion worldwide) while Fallen Kingdom grossed $417,719,760 ($1.3 billion worldwide) during its theatrical run in 2018, but the film has now grossed $302,776,000 domestically and another $443,888,000 overseas.

With only two wide releases next week (Mr. Malcom’s List; Minions: The Rise of Gru), expect this week’s releases to continue their successful theatrical runs after strong debuts. Minions: The Rise of Gru certainly has the target audience of families on its side, but it remains to be seen if the film can rise up to the lofty expectations set by 2015’s Minions and 2017’s Despicable Me 3; both of which grossed over $1 billion worldwide.

Andrew Korpan

Andrew Korpan

Film "critic" and entertainment journalist whose work has been featured in Above the Line, Below the Line, Collider, /Film and Coastal House Media.
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