By Christy R Mathew

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Flies Higher Than Expected With $90 Million in Second Weekend

"Top Gun: Maverick," starring Tom Cruise, performed better than expected in its second weekend of release.

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White Lightning

The Paramount and Skydance film earned $90 million over the weekend, exceeding the already massive estimate of $86 million on Sunday.

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Ticket sales declined only 29 percent in its second weekend, thanks to positive word of mouth, rapturous reviews, and premium screens — the lowest percentage in history for a film that debuted to $100 million or more, according to Comscore.

Over the long Memorial Day weekend, "Top Gun: Maverick" grossed a whopping $160 million.

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Though a strange statistic, the small second-weekend drop is impressive because big-budget blockbusters — even well-received ones — typically drop by at least 50% after huge opening weekends. 

 In comparison, recent tentpoles "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and Marvel's "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" both dropped 67 percent in week two, while Robert Pattinson's "The Batman" dropped 50 percent.

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White Lightning

"Top Gun: Maverick" has earned $295 million at the domestic box office after only 10 days in theatres, surpassing 2005's "War of the Worlds" ($243 million) as Cruise's highest-grossing film in North America.

Whether it's a pandemic or not, it's a stunning result — and ticket sales will almost certainly continue to rise — for a film that doesn't feature costumed heroes, otherworldly creatures, or fantastical spells.