Top Gun: Maverick goes supersonic, Bob’s Burgers are well-done, and Other Box Office News.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
The Last Movie Star has done it again, folks. He’s managed to prove myself and anyone else foolish enough to be a doubter dead wrong. In my defence, one should consider it reasonable to have held reservations over whether a sequel to Top Gun – that Navy advertisement from 1984 whose continued cultural relevance seems predicated entirely on a slapping soundtrack and meme-ing the open secret of its super-gayness – would be a] any good and b] financially successful. That’s not even taking into account the fact that we’ve been seeing adverts for it since literally three years ago. But, as the latest piece of evidence to add to the mountainous “Callie Petch doesn’t know what the fuck they’re talking about” pile, not only did Top Gun: Maverick turn out to be pretty good actually, it’s also the biggest non-comic opening weekend we’ve had in a very long time.
Bear with me for a paragraph since I gotta get my inner David Croft on by busting out some statistics for y’all. The real obvious one for starters: it’s your new Box Office #1 and has outgrossed the rest of the Top 10 combined several times over. $124 million worth of red-blooded Americans turned out to witness planes go fast and non-specific foreign baddies get their just desserts. The original Top Gun opened to $8.1 million back in the day; adjust that for inflation and you get, in 2022 bucks, $22.7 million, which marks a near-6x increase by Maverick. That’s pretty cool, but not as cool as some longstanding records finally biting the dust! Yes, Maverick’s release has fallen upon Memorial Day weekend and, in a much-deserved blow to the legacy and ego of Johnny Depp – who, frankly, could stand to have a few more of those in the process of fucking off forever – previous all-time Memorial Day champ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End has finally been dethroned. It took fifteen years but we finally did it, everyone! $124 million in the three-day trumps $114 million last I checked basic mathematics, and Pirates’ four-day of $139.8 million has almost certainly been bested by the time these words make publication unless something catastrophic goes down. All copies of the film could eat themselves out of existence, the rights could turn out to be an NFT which get hilariously stolen by hackers; anything is possible!
In a lovely little bit of cross-promotional synergy, meanwhile, the same week that we get a Top Gun resurrection, we also get the theatrical debut of an H. Jon Benjamin-voiced cartoon series! Not the one that makes Top Gun references a recurring bit, mind, but the one that’s managed to stay excellent for over ten seasons instead of inconsistently petering out yet stubbornly clinging to life. Yes, it’s the long, long, long, long, maybe a little too long, long, long, long, long, now definitely too long, long, long, long in development Bob’s Burgers Movie! Counterprogramming the big new blockbuster less out of savvy market positioning and more because Disney remain contractually-obligated to release 20th Century Fox’s theatrical slate pre-merger into theatres rather than dumping straight-to-Disney+, Bob’s did… basically as well as this somewhat cult cartoon could possibly have done given the circumstances. Sliding comfortably into third place with $12.6 million, a Rudy-sized taking if I’ve ever seen one! (Regular-sized, obviously.)
See! It IS possible to write a Top Gun-related Box Office article without indulging in cheap movie reference-humour even once! Take THAT… err… imaginary target of my pointless crusade. Let’s just do the Full List.
US Box Office Results: Friday 27th May 2022 – Sunday 29th May 2022
1] Top Gun: Maverick
$124,000,000 / NEW
I feel about Maverick roughly the same way I did about Bad Boys for Life. This is a better movie than the original, but I feel like something vital and unique has been lost as a result. Sure, it’s a proper movie now and has a lot to recommend from taking the Creed II approach towards the source material, but it lacks the character of the original in that drive to be taken seriously. At least for me, anyway. Dave Bond really enjoyed it, as did almost everyone else, so I don’t wanna be the parade-pisser with my “I thought it was only ok” take. Great flyings, beautiful flyings.
2] Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
$16,400,000 / $370,773,979
Sony, SONY! Look into my eyes, LOOK AT THEM! FOCUS! I know you will have seen the increase in Morbius-related activity over the past week or so, the memes and japes and engagement, and so you’re gonna start musing over the possibility of making a Morbius sequel. You’re confusing ironic engagement for actual engagement. Nobody actually wants a Morbius sequel. Don’t do i-GET YOUR FINGER AWAY FROM THAT “GREENLIGHT” BUTTON NOW! BAD STUDIO! VERY BAD STUDIO! *starts squirting Sony with a water-spray*
3] The Bob’s Burgers Movie
$12,600,000 / NEW
At the time of writing these words, I have not seen The Bob’s Burgers Movie. By the time you read these words, I will have seen The Bob’s Burgers Movie. What a funny concept time is! Come on back next week for hopefully nice words said about a hopefully nice movie!
4] Downton Abbey: A New Era
$5,900,000 / $28,478,945
I’d snark about hoping this is also Downton’s final era, but $15 million to-date over here in the UK suggests that I should be so lucky.
5] The Bad Guys
$4,630,000 / $81,372,900
You know what’s a real fun family-friendly film to fritter a Friday for? The latest Gaspar Noé piece! No, not the acclaimed one released by Picturehouse last month. The experimental 51-minute one that almost nobody likes. Leslie Byron Pitt can be counted amongst those ranks, he was not a fan of Lux Æterna.
$2,520,000 / $185,139,326
I hope this entire exchange makes it into Sonic the Hedgehog 3 verbatim.
7] Everything Everywhere All at Once
$2,510,345 / $56,823,987
SUPER IMPORTANT PSA: Eureka! are putting out a 4K restoration boxset of Jackie Chan’s Police Story trilogy at the end of September. Pre-orders are live now. Go treat yourself.
$1,795,000 / $101,732,000
Hey! Gutting it out in the clutch for both the 10-week mark and the $100 mil domestic mark! No idea why or how it managed to increase 15% compared to last weekend, but I’m choosing not to look a gift-horse in the mouth on this one. The BOR gets negative enough as is.
$1,224,692 / $5,967,784
For example, this. Not even gonna hang on long enough to see the UK release on Wednesday, I imagine. Was really hoping I would get more chances to plug the fact that Jessie Buckley has made an album with Bernard Butler (of Suede’s first two albums), but alas.
10] F3: Fun and Frustration
$1,028,000 / NEW
Here’s an anniversary that’ll REALLY make you feel ancient! The Curious Case of Benjamin Button turned 100 last week! No, not the middling David Fincher film adaptation; the original serialised novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, as noted by Amy Walker. I can remember exactly where I was when that first entry got published in 1922! All these buildings were fields, black lung was the hip new fashion trend all the kids wanted, and my gender dysphoria was just starting to rear its head! Those were the days!
Dropped out: Firestarter, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, The Northman
Callie Petch always where the money at like lottery signs.