Top Gun: Maverick, The long-awaited sequel to the 1986 hit, kicks off a summer of high-profile, big-budget releases that studio chiefs and theater owners hope will finally get moviegoers back to pre-pandemic habits.
In the four-day Memorial Day weekend, Maverick banked $156 million in the US alone, setting a new box-office record for the holiday and a career-best debut for its star, Tom Cruise. Maverick made another $124 million for its opening weekend at international markets for a global start at $248 million.
Initially, the movie was slated to arrive in 2020, but the pandemic led to multiple delays and instead premiered this weekend, despite scepticism over the industry's future in streaming.
Why it matters
Top Gun: Maverick provided some much-needed speed. Since Covid-19 decimated the theatrical moviegoing business and forced studios to focus on streaming efforts, executives privately questioned whether a zeitgeist-defining event was still possible on the big screen. However, AMC (AMC) and IMAX (IMAX) results proved otherwise; their stock climbed 6.1% and 0.6% higher, in early Tuesday trading.