In its first win of the evening, Paramount/Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick scooped the Oscar for Sound with the prize going to the team of Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor.
Nelson spoke for the group, thanking collaborators and producers including Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie and Jerry Bruckheimer. The juggernaut was the No. 1 movie of the 2022 calendar year, and has grossed nearly $1.5B globally. It had six nominations coming into the evening, including for Best Picture which is still to be revealed. The Oscars have already had a halo effect on TGM, with the film the most viewed in domestic streaming since nominations were announced.
Directed by Joseph Kosinski, the movie had a phenomenal run and brought Cruise his biggest box office in a career that has spanned 40 years. It’s also Paramount’s highest-grossing film ever globally.
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As Deadline’s Pete Hammond predicted, Maverick was the heavy favorite in the Sound race — it recently scooped the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize. The original 1986 film was also nominated for Sound but did not win.
Arriving 36 years after the Tony Scott-directed original, the film was delayed by the tragic suicide of that filmmaker (to whom Lady Gaga’s performance of Maverick’s nominated song “Hold My Hand” was dedicated tonight), and then sat on the shelf in the pandemic. Cruise, along with fellow producers Jerry Bruckheimer, David Ellison and Christopher McQuarrie, held firm when many other languishing films were moved to streaming. Cruise has said that no way was he going to watch that happen to a film that was designed to be seen in theaters.
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Although Cruise is back at work and not at the Oscars this evening, he was at the nominees luncheon where he was arguably the main attraction. There, Steven Spielberg caught up with star, telling him, “You saved Hollywood’s a**… And, you might have saved theatrical distribution. Seriously. Maverick might have saved the entire theatrical industry.”
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