'Top Gun' again soars to top of N.America box office

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Action drama "Top Gun: Maverick" has soared to a second huge weekend showing in North American theaters, taking in an estimated $86 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.

That "sensational" number for Paramount's long-awaited Tom Cruise sequel placed it among the top 10 highest-grossing second weekends in domestic box office history, Variety reported. It took in $151 million last weekend.

Boosted by its gripping visuals and unusually positive reviews -- especially for a sequel -- the Paramount/Skydance film has earned $257 million abroad, the latest sign of Hollywood's recovery from a bleak pandemic period.

"Maverick" picks up the story of now-graying US Navy test pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Cruise) as he trains young aviators for a mission to attack a nuclear facility in a rogue state.

Holding in second place was Disney's "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," at $9.3 million for the Friday-through-Sunday period. The global take for the Benedict Cumberbatch film has surpassed $750 million in its five weeks out.

20th Century's animated "Bob's Burgers Movie," based on a popular television show, held tight in third place, taking in $4.5 million.

In fourth, up one spot from last weekend, was Universal's family-friendly animation "The Bad Guys," at $3.3 million.

Focus Features' "Downton Abbey: A New Era," based on the wildly popular British series, slipped a spot to fifth place, earning $3 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Everything Everywhere All at Once" ($2 million)

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" ($1.7 million)

"The Lost City" ($1.4 million)

"Crimes of the Future" ($1.1 million)

"Watcher" ($815,000)

bbk/mlm

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