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Why 2022 Marks the Return of the Summer Blockbuster



Tom-Cruise-as-Pete-Maverick-Mitchell-in-Top-Gun-Maverick (1)

Before the pandemic, movie theaters were a hot spot. Everyone couldn’t wait to head to the cinema, pay for overpriced popcorn, and watch a new film on the big screen. Then the dreaded quarantine descended, and the way films were released changed forever. Movies were now sold to streaming services, and their mixture with the over-saturated content market left something to be desired. Box office ratings took an 80% drop in 2020, and moviegoers thought there was no coming back from that.

Sure, there were streaming hits, but they all lacked the big magical buzz that movies used to give viewers. Until an ’80s heartthrob by the name of Tom Cruise came around. Cruise’s long-awaited sequel to Top Gun — a film that cemented his place in the movie legend world — was scheduled for a 2020 summer release. However, the film’s release was pushed back twice as the health crisis continued.

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It would have been easy to take the sequel and put it on Paramount+, the production company’s streaming service, but according to Cruise, “I make movies for the big screen.” So the film held out in order to have a release for the silver screen and quite the release it had. The film debuted on Memorial Day weekend and has since grossed over $300 million at the box office. This makes Top Gun: Maverick Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing movie to date. Many have said that the new film surpasses the original in all the best ways, and Cruise has proven that the summer blockbuster is back and here to stay.

Related: Jurassic World: Dominion Director Reveals His Favorite Day On Set

Maverick has taken its place as the first monster hit of the season, but that seat could be taken due to the impressive summer 2022 lineup. Another sequel by the name of Jurassic World: Dominion is slated to be a phenomenal contender for a summer blockbuster, and many can see why. The film serves as a bookend for the Jurassic World franchise, showcasing the new crew from the franchise (Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard) with the original trio from Jurassic Park (Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum).

However, it’s not just franchises that have a crack at being the film of the summer. Elvis, which hits theaters on June 24th, is also receiving widespread acclaim among critics. The film is led by Austin Butler (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) in the title role, and since its showing at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, it has been on the fast track to success. The film has also garnered acclaim from Presley’s family. Lisa Marie Presley praised the movie in a post on Instagram, stating that the film was “nothing short of spectacular” and that “you can feel [director, Baz Luhrmann’s] pure love, care, and respect for [her] father throughout this beautiful film.” Priscilla Presley also took to social media, stating that the film was a “true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered.”

Related: Top Gun: Maverick Director Says Tom Cruise & Val Kilmer’s Reunion Was ‘Very Emotional’