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For all Top Gun: Maverick's ambitious marketing and viral trailers, the Top Gun sequel's good reviews may be the backbone of its box-office success.
According to early CinemaCon reviews, Top Gun: Maverick lives up to the sequel’s outsized hype, which is great news for the movie’s box office potential. Top Gun was a huge hit at the box office upon its 1986 release. While the military drama is now viewed as a cheesy cult classic, Top Gun's less-than-stellar reviews upon the movie’s initial release did nothing to dent its massive financial success.
However, the much-hyped Top Gun: Maverick cannot hope to repeat the original movie’s box office impact. Even if the sequel is as commercially successful as its predecessor, the thirty-six-year wait between movies and the success of the original Top Gun means that Top Gun: Maverick arrives in cinemas burdened with much more expectation. Not only that but Top Gun: Maverick will likely be darker and sadder than the original Top Gun since the sequel addresses Maverick and Iceman’s aging and the encroaching obsolescence of their roles as test pilots.
Between Top Gun: Maverick's status as a more elegiac movie than the fun-focused original Top Gun and the big expectations being put on the sequel’s release, the sequel can’t repeat the sleeper hit success of the original movie. As such, the news out of CinemaCon that Top Gun: Maverick is actually good - in fact, very good, if early reviews are to be believed - bodes well for the sequel’s box office potential despite the franchise's decades-long dormancy and Cruise's lengthy absence from cinema screens. While these reviews might be overblown, they are still promising for Top Gun: Maverick’s word-of-mouth, something that helped fellow 80s franchise revival Ghostbusters: Afterlife excel at the box office last November after an underwhelming first-week debut. To successfully reboot the Top Gun franchise, Top Gun: Maverick needs more than just a great opening weekend, something Ghostbusters: Afterlife earned thanks to its great reviews.
Like Top Gun: Maverick, Ghostbusters: Afterlife enjoyed largely positive pre-release reviews. This made its solid but unspectacular $44 million opening weekend easier to come back from, as the film stayed strong throughout its release and ended up earning over $200 million, holding its own as a 80s franchise revival amid a slew of superhero blockbusters. This precedent means that even if Top Gun: Maverick doesn’t earn its massive 150 million budget back in its opening or second weekend, the sequel can rely on a repeat of Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s box office success. If Top Gun: Maverick is as good as early reviews claim, the sequel can rely on positive word-of-mouth in its second, third, and fourth week, meaning the Top Gun sequel doesn’t have to shatter records on its opening weekend for the franchise to survive.
Fortunately for Top Gun: Maverick, The Bobs Burgers Movie’s box office performance is unlikely to shake the sequel’s box office dominance. Top Gun: Maverick’s strategic arrival at the beginning of the summer blockbuster season (as opposed to in the middle, where its July 2020 release date landed) is promising for its potential box office success, as that animated outing is its biggest competitor. Between this smart release date strategy and its superb early reviews meaning that opening weekend shouldn’t make or break the sequel’s success, Top Gun: Maverick has done everything right to ensure the movie makes an impressive impact upon its May 27 arrival.
More: Tom Cruise Steals A Brad Pitt Movie Trick In Top Gun 2
- Top Gun: Maverick/Top Gun 2 (2022)Release date: May 27, 2022
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About The Author
(1517 Articles Published)
Cathal Gunning has been writing about movies and TV online since 2020. His obsessions include The Simpsons, Stephen King, the Scream series, and the horror genre in general. He has spent more time thinking about Stranger Things than the writers of Stranger Things, and he has never seen a Star War.
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