How 'Top Gun: Maverick' won over older audiences for a record box-office opening
- "Top Gun: Maverick" grossed $160.5 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend.
- It's the biggest Memorial Day opening weekend ever, topping "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."
After several delays, "Top Gun: Maverick" debuted in theaters over the weekend with a record $160.5 million during the four-day weekend in the US (it grossed $300 million worldwide).
The movie's box-office haul is the biggest Memorial Day opening weekend ever, topping "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," which earned $153 million in 2007.
In a theatrical market dominated by comic-book
The movie primarily appeals to an older audience that has been slow to return to cinemas as the theatrical industry tries to recover from the pandemic. The previous weekend, another adult-oriented sequel to a box-office hit, "Downton Abbey: A New Era," underperformed compared to its predecessor.
But Paul Dergarabedian, the senior
In "Maverick's" case, 55% of its audience were 35 years or older. By comparison, other hits of the pandemic have more so attracted younger crowds in their teens and 20s.
How did "Maverick" win over these older moviegoers?
For starters, word of mouth was likely strong. The movie has near universal praise, with a 96% critic score and 99% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
It also received a rare A+ grade from CinemaScore, which surveys audiences on a movie's opening night. According to CinemaScore president Harold Mintz, just 81 of more than 5,500 movies scored in the US since 1986 have received that top grade.
'Maverick' is only in theaters
"Maverick" was also released exclusively in movie theaters, as opposed to also being available to stream online like some major releases last year.
Instead, most movies are getting shorter exclusive theatrical windows compared to before the pandemic. The pre-pandemic window was typical 75 days to 90 days. Now, 45 days has emerged as a new industry standard, though it will vary between movies and studios.
Paramount, the studio that released "Maverick," has given a 45-day theatrical window to its movies this year before they debut on Paramount+. But a person familiar with Paramount's strategy told Insider that "Maverick" will have a longer window than 45 days.
With a substantial theatrical window, the movie could have strong legs throughout the summer.
The first "Top Gun" earned just $8 million in the US in its first weekend ($21 million after inflation). But it ultimately grossed $180 million ($460 million today) and was the highest-grossing movie of 1986.
- Travel Boom: India spends 2X of pre-pandemic level on Airbnb with Goa leading the charge
- Swiggy disburses over Rs 450 cr in loans to 8000 restaurant owners
- Hyundai Motor India says all its vehicles to come with 6 airbags
- Earthquake jolts Delhi and other parts of northern India
- World Bank pegs India's FY24 GDP growth at 6.3% as global headwinds emerge