Back in the middle of August my colleague Susie Moore called it about “Top Gun: Maverick,” the great sequel to 1986’s Tom Cruise popcorn flick, “Top Gun.”
Around then also marked the 12th week of the film’s release, and its box office was still flying high, stunning the entertainment world-and the progressive, mainstream media-in the process.
Well, Hollywood notices when something keeps the dollars rolling in–and when things don’t. For example, as Variety reports, the movies released for the recent Thanksgiving weekend made an unimpressive flopping sound for movie studios. Receipts were down 12 percent compared to the same weekend in 2021:
Overall, it’s been a fairly dire weekend for theaters. The five-day frame is projected to net $125.4 million in ticket sales across all releases, down 12% from last year’s Thanksgiving weekend — which had the additional handicap of arriving during a period of heightened COVID-19 precautions. This year’s crop of films aren’t connecting as strongly as offerings last year like “Encanto” and “House of Gucci.”‘
Case in point: Disney’s new release “Strange World” netted $5.2 million on Friday, pushing its domestic total to $11.8 million. That’s a terrible kickoff for the animated film, opening in a prime holiday window with kids out of school and weighted by an $180 million production budget to recoup.
“The Fabelmans” has a stronger per-theater average, projecting $3.1 million from 638 locations.
You could say Thanksgiving was a real turkey this year for Hollywood. So, what’s their takeaway? Give the people what they want (again).
Last Friday, Paramount decided to re-release “Top Gun: Maverick” in theaters, as Variety reported, with the studio projecting to add $600,000 worth of icing on the cake–just from the past weekend.
Former box office champion “Top Gun: Maverick” is also making an appearance back in theaters this weekend, as Paramount is re-releasing the Tom Cruise sequel from [sic] through Dec. 15.
Then later in December, the film will head to the Paramount Plus streaming platform.
It’s not clear yet how the “Maverick” re-release fared. But, the fact that Hollywood feels it must make this move says a lot about their confidence in what they’re likely to see from audiences going forward.