This is a good ending, something to celebrate. With the release of TOP GUN: MAVERICK (to massive critical and audience praise, incidentally) this past weekend, all the movies that got delayed by the Rona have now been released. And given the recent success of films like SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, THE BATMAN, DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS, and now TOP GUN: MAVERICK, we can pronounce that the movie business has regained its footing. It weathered the Rona and came back just as strong. When I went to a matinee showing of the latter film and found the theater lobby as crowded as I can remember seeing it, certainly in recent years (excepting the aforementioned SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME), I knew that the new TOP GUN would be breaking some records. And I knew the era of the Rona was well and truly over.
To quote CEO for Imax Rich Gelfond: “If you thought movies were dead, go see ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and then let me know what you think…This film heralds the return of the summer blockbuster and is a catalyst that will accelerate demand for moviegoing like an F-18 breaking the sound barrier. There’s no way you sit in a theatre, with a huge screen and chest-pounding speakers, and come away thinking there’s any other way you want to experience [it].” Damn straight! Suck on that, livestreaming!
While we celebrate the return of the moviegoing experience, though, let’s not neglect to commemorate the genre that kept the lights on. The movies that fed starving cinephiles across America and beyond. Little movies that managed to make an impact and turn a profit during the darkest days of the thank-God-it’s-over pandemic. I am talking, of course, about Horror. Horror movies saw us through the days of the Rona. Thank you, Horror. We, the faithful, never took you for granted, and we sure won’t now. You were our lifeline. Ironic, for a genre of film devoted almost exclusively to the severing of lifelines!