Top Gun: Maverick takes off as the biggest film of the year so far in the UK

Top Gun: Maverick has become the biggest film of the year so far in the UK after just three weeks on release, new figures show.

The blockbuster action sequel, in which Tom Cruise reprises the role of US pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell nearly four decades since the original Top Gun, has now taken £50.1 million at the box office.

It is comfortably ahead of 2022’s other big-hitters Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, which has grossed £41.5 million, and The Batman, which is on £40.8 million.

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The speed with which Top Gun: Maverick has roared up the chart means it could end up as one of the highest-grossing films of recent years.

More thrills and spills from action man Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

It is already the third most successful movie released in the UK since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Only the James Bond film No Time To Die (£98.0 million) and comic book thriller Spider-Man: No Way Home (£96.3 million) have taken more money at the box office.

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The figures have been compiled by the PA news agency from data published by the British Film Institute and Comscore.

They cover box office takings up to June 12 and include Ireland as well as the UK, as both are counted as one territory for the purposes of reporting.

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Cruise has been absent from the big screen since 2018’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which grossed a total of £24.4 million.

Top Gun: Maverick has already taken more than double that figure – and has been in cinemas for less than a month.

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The widow and son of the man who wrote the 1983 article that inspired the original Top Gun movie are suing Paramount Pictures over its sequel, Top Gun: Maverick.

In a complaint filed in California federal court, Shosh Yonay and Yuval Yonay claim that the rights to Ehud Yonay’s story reverted back to them on January 24, 2020.

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The lawsuit contends that Paramount, which produced and distributed the sequel, did not reacquire those rights before releasing the film in May.

A spokesperson for Paramount Pictures said in a statement that the claims “are without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously”.

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The lawsuit says that Paramount has been on notice since 2018 that the Yonays intended to recover the copyright under a provision that lets artists do so after 35 years.