Sony Boss Says Top Gun: Maverick Owes its Success to Venom 2

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Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick is the undisputed box office champion this year, grossing over $1 billion worldwide over eight theatrical weekends. The Tom Cruise movie is considered the highest-grossing film of the year, but Sony Pictures believes that its “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is linked to the success of the Paramount sequel.

Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group co-presidents Sanford Panich and Josh Greenstein believe the studio deserves credit for being one of the first to bring audiences back to cinemas during the pandemic. “The Best Shooter: Maverick” was supposed to be released in the summer of 2019, but ran into problems due to the pandemic and its impact on cinemas. Despite delays and live streaming releases from other major studios, Sony has remained relatively firm on its movie release schedule in theaters.

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“When we first started releasing films last October, there really weren’t any other big films,” Greenstein said during a conversation with Vulture. The studio released “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” in theaters last October, and by the end of its debut weekend, the film had earned an impressive $90 million. The following month, Sony released its long-awaited film “Ghostbusters: Life After Death,” and ended the year with the release of the record-breaking film “Spider-Man: There is no Way Home.”

“Everyone has postponed their big films for this year, for this summer. We went on a big adventure, putting “Venom” in cinemas. Then we doubled down with Ghostbusters,” Greenstein said. “Back then, our biggest bet was that when all the other tents ran away, we tripled the bet with Spider-Man—our biggest and most important piece of intellectual property.” “Spider-Man: No Home” has earned more than $1.9 billion worldwide and remains the highest-grossing film of the pandemic era, while “Best Shooter: Maverick” is slightly behind.

For many, the success of “Spider-Man: No Home” meant that movie theaters were still breathing after the pandemic turned them upside down, and “Best Shooter: Maverick” marked the return of the movie viewing experience. The film continues to perform well, but Sony believes that its leap of faith helped the film reach its current level. “Oddly enough, I would say that Top Gun benefits from the fact that we are doing everything possible,” Panich said. “Venom is the beginning of the story that allows the “Best Shooter” to do the same business as before.”

Top Gun: Maverick has benefited from several elements, but the biggest one should be its extremely vast demographic that spans decades. This film is a sequel to the original 1986 film The Best Shooter and thus attracts an audience of both older and younger ages. Sony’s imprint may persist in the success of the Paramount film, but it is minimal compared to other factors that have made the film superior to others released so far this year. It will be interesting to see how things stand when the dust settles, and whether Top Gun: Maverick can withstand some of the larger projects approaching on the horizon.

“Best Shooter: Maverick” is currently in theaters.

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