Brad Pitt’s ‘Bullet Train’ repeats at No. 1, Tom Cruise’s ‘Top Gun’ flies high at box office

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NEW YORK – 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 $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. Globally, “Bullet Train” has grossed $114.5 million.

Three new films went into wide release but none cracked the top five. The late-summer slowdown gave plenty of airspace for the year’s biggest movie, “Maverick,” to make another fly-by in theaters.

Nearly three months after opening, the “Top Gun” sequel 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. “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.

“Top Gun: Maverick” was very narrowly edged for second place by the animated “DC League of Super-Pets,” starring Dwayne Johnson, which took in $7.17 million in its third week of release, just a nose above the $7.15 million for “Maverick.”

But while “Top Gun: Maverick” has been a boon to theaters recovering from the pandemic, the thinly scheduled dog days of August will pose a test to the industry.

This weekend, the biggest new film in nationwide theaters was “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” a Gen Z horror comedy that expanded to 1,269 locations after last week’s opening in limited release. It came in eighth with $3.3 million.

“The Fall,” about two friends stranded atop a 2,000-foot radio tower, debuted with $2.5 million. Diane Keaton’s body-swap comedy “Mack & Rita” opened with just $1 million.

In overall sales, it was the lowest ticket-selling weekend of the summer. With few new wide releases on tap – including two Idris Elba titles: the safari thriller “Beast” (Aug. 19) and George Miller’s “Three Thousand Years of Longing” (Aug. 26) – moviegoing is likely to slow further in the coming weeks.

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