“Top Gun: Maverick” becomes first instant blockbuster of 2022 after record opening

Top Gun: Maverick went supersonic over its opening four days in theatres, swooping in on $156 million in ticket sales to blow up the existing Memorial Day weekend record (held by 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End) by $3 million, Vulture reports. 

According to the report, Paramount’s long-gestating, oft-delayed sequel to 1986’s Top Gun took the highway to the danger zone of megaprofitability, becoming popcorn movie season’s first out-the-gate blockbuster and setting a new high-water mark for Tom Cruise. 

It now stands as the 59-year-old superstar’s best-reviewed film, his biggest debut to date, and the first time in an already superlative-laden career that one of Cruise’s films has grossed over $100 million in a single weekend, the outlet adds.

According to The Guardian, Top Gun: Maverick is poised to continue its epic box office run this weekend; with no major competition at US multiplexes, it’ll soon zoom past the $250m mark in domestic grosses alone, with $400m or more still well within its sights. It could wind up the highest-grossing movie of the year, at least until Avatar 2 drops. If you read the analysis of certain right-leaning pundits, Top Gun: Maverick’s triumph is their triumph, and a rebuke of “woke culture” – by which is meant, movies and TV shows that do not exclusively feature white men in their leading roles.

Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell has served the Navy for 30 years, but his time is running out – they don’t make ’em like Mav anymore, and that is, the Navy seems to be saying, a good thing. Reckless individualism is being replaced by mindless drones, and the pilots’ need for speed isn’t a tool for the Navy can use – or exploit, depending on your point of view – but is rather a hindrance to the blind hierarchy that the military thrives on.

Which is why Pete is sent back to Top Gun – his last ever posting before the Navy puts him out to pasture, or whatever it is they do with pilots who no longer fit the technologically driven mould of the 21st century. But Pete has one last thing to offer his students: PASSION.


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