‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Passes ‘Black Panther’ as Fifth-Highest Grossing Movie Ever in North America

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Top Gun: Maverick” has crossed $700 million in North America, becoming one of six movies to ever surpass that milestone at the domestic box office.

The film returned to the top of box office charts over Labor Day weekend, adding $7.9 million between Friday and Monday and bringing ticket sales to $701 million. According to Paramount, “Maverick” is the only film to ever be No. 1 at the domestic box office for both Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays.

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After 15 weeks of release, the sequel to Tom Cruise’s 1986 blockbuster has overtaken Marvel’s behemoth “Black Panther” ($700.4 million) as the fifth-highest grossing movie in domestic box office history. Impressively, the “Top Gun” follow-up has long flown past “Black Panther” internationally and globally. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s latest mission has racked up $740 million overseas and $1.44 billion worldwide, while T’Challa’s super-heroic adventure tapped out with $674 million overseas and $1.347 billion worldwide.

“It’s without a doubt, that ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is a true cultural touchstone embodying the power of the cinematic experience,” said Brian Robbins, president and CEO of Paramount Pictures. “As we celebrate this enormous achievement and the film’s massive impact, we want to extend our gratitude to Tom Cruise, our filmmakers and cast, Paramount’s marketing and distribution teams, and the legions of both new and longtime ‘Top Gun’ fans who keep turning out to enjoy this remarkable movie.”

In North America, the next highest-grossing movie is “Avatar” with $760 million (and its planned re-release in September will push those grosses even higher), so “Top Gun: Maverick’s” rapid ascent on box office charts looks to stop at No. 5 — at least, for now.

Globally, “Top Gun: Maverick” stands as the 12th-biggest movie, but it’s fast approaching 11th place, which currently belongs to Disney’s “Frozen II” with $1.450 billion.

For the nation’s beleaguered theater owners, “Top Gun: Maverick” has been the gift that keeps on giving. Unlike most of today’s blockbusters, which earn the bulk of their revenue during opening weekend, the follow-up to “Top Gun” has remained a powerful box office draw throughout the entire summer. It has been in the top five on domestic box office charts for 14 of its 15 weeks of release, a fact that underscores the film’s endurance as other tentpoles, like “Jurassic World Dominion” and “Thor: Love and Thunder,” came and went in theaters. Plus, it’s still making money in theaters even though the film landed on home entertainment in late August.

To Hollywood executives, the unexpected success of Paramount and Skydance’s action-packed sequel signals that audiences young and old will venture to cinemas for a movie that doesn’t involve superheroes, so long as there’s a compelling story to be told. (Of course, thrilling aerial sequences, performed by the entertainment industry’s resident daredevil, doesn’t hurt.) Given the 36 years that separated the original from Cruise’s return to the cockpit, the triumph of “Maverick” was far from a forgone conclusion.

“Top Gun: Maverick” has cemented plenty of box office records since Memorial Day weekend, when the film set a holiday record with its $160.5 million debut. It also became Cruise’s first movie to surpass $100 million in a single weekend, as well as his first to cross $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

Cruise is getting well compensated for reviving the movie theater industry. By the time “Maverick” leaves theaters and ends up on Paramount Plus, the stunt extraordinaire is expected to pocket at least $100 million from ticket sales, his salary, home entertainment rentals, and streaming revenue.

Joseph Kosinski directed “Top Gun: Maverick,” which centers on the exploits of Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell as prepares a new group of aviators for a crucial strike mission and, in the process, feels the need for speed. He’s joined on-screen by Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Connelly and Val Kilmer.

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