Top Gun: Maverick is NI’s biggest box office hit of 2022 with close to £2.5m sales

Top Gun: Maverick is set to be Northern Ireland’s best-performing film of the year, with box office sales closing in on £2.5m.

he blockbuster sequel, starring Tom Cruise, has been a smash hit since it opened in late May, pulling in more money at the box office than last year’s most successful film, James Bond thriller No Time To Die.

The Joseph Kosinski-directed action drama has now taken in £2.44m at the Northern Irish box office, while global sales of over £1.2bn worldwide have helped it become the biggest-grossing sequel of all time.

According to industry experts, it is now “likely” that the Tom Cruise picture will be crowned NI’s top film of 2022 in what has proved a lucrative year for the cinema industry. Minions: The Rise Of Gru and Belfast are set to come in second and third place respectively.

Although box office sales have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, cinema admissions this year to date are still significantly higher than 2021 — a difficult period for the industry due to Covid.

Admissions between January and September this year are still short of the equivalent period in 2019, the last year when cinemas were fully open and thus a stellar year for blockbuster releases.

But with the upcoming pre-Christmas release of two highly anticipated blockbusters — Avatar: The Way Of The Water and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — industry experts insist they are optimistic about the future.

Eoin Wrixon, CEO of Pearl & Dean Ireland, said: “With each week the Northern Irish audience is rekindling its love affair with the big screen. Since January we have seen a steady growth in audience numbers. We are not at post-pandemic levels yet, but films like Top Gun, Belfast and Avatar are all adding to the momentum.

“And with the slate of films due for release in the run-up to Christmas and into 2023, we can look at the months ahead with increased optimism.

“We’ve seen some brilliant film releases this year, but by the end of the year it is probable that Top Gun: Maverick will remain in top spot.”

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