The Brad Pitt action film “Bullet Train” led all movies in ticket sales for a second straight weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday, while a quiet spell in theaters and incredible staying power allowed “Top Gun: Maverick” to rocket back into third place in its 12th week of release.
After launching the previous weekend with about $30 million at the box office, “Bullet Train” pulled in $13.4 million in its second go-around. David Leitch's assassin-crowded film, made for $90 million, has grossed $54.4 million in two weeks for Sony Pictures. Globally, “Bullet Train” has grossed $114.5 million.
Three new films went into wide release but none cracked the top five films. The slowdown — an expected but still acute late-summer downturn in big releases — gave plenty of airspace for the year's biggest movie, “Maverick,” to make another fly-by in theaters.
Nearly three months after opening in May, Paramount Pictures put the “Top Gun” sequel back on a number of large-format screens and increased its theater count from 2,760 to 3,181. It came away with $7.2 million, bringing its cumulative total to $673.8 million. Paramount's biggest smash ever, “Maverick” sits at seventh all-time in domestic box office, not accounting for inflation, right above “Titanic" and just below “Avengers: Infinity War."
The uncommonly long run for “Top Gun: Maverick” is even rarer at a time when studios have shrunk theatrical windows, typically sending movies to streaming services after about 45 days in theaters.
But while “Top Gun: Maverick” has been a boon to theaters recovering from the pandemic, the thinly scheduled dog days of August — and potentially a chunk of September — will pose a test to the industry.
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