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The AARP Celebrates Top Gun: Maverick As The Best Movie Of The Year

No trip to the multiplex this year was complete without a viewing of "Top Gun: Maverick." Since its summer 2022 release, "Maverick" has emerged as an absolute cultural phenomenon, bringing audiences of all ages to cinemas. Praised for its aerial action sequences, narrative, and performances, Joseph Kosinski's "Top Gun" sequel received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Beyond critical acclaim, the sequel to the 1986 film was a commercial darling, reigniting the box office with its scorching hot jet fuel.

The decades-in-the-making sequel to Tony Scott's iconic action flick proved to be a worthy successor, bringing home over $1.4 billion at the box office for Paramount Pictures (via The Numbers). As it stands, Maverick's second outing is the fifth highest-grossing film at the domestic box office and Tom Cruise's largest-grosser. What's particularly exciting about the film's immense gross is how much older audiences contributed to it. During the film's opening weekend, IndieWire reported that 55% of attendees were over the age of 35. Comscore suggests (via Variety) that those over 35 were responsible for 54% of the film's domestic gross ($719 million).

With older audiences in support of Maverick's sophomore flight, it's no surprise that the AARP has deemed the "Top Gun" sequel as the best movie of the year.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer accepted the award

AARP The Magazine's Movies for Grownups Awards awarded "Top Gun: Maverick" the statue for the best movie of the year on Saturday. For over 20 years, the Movies for Grownups Awards has honored the best projects that older audiences (over the age of 50) adore. For those unfamiliar, the AARP is an interest group that specializes in advocating for the needs of older Americans.

The Best Movie For Grownups Award at the event was presented by "Maverick" star Glen Powell ("Hangman"), who gave the award to producer Jerry Bruckheimer. "I am tremendously grateful to the millions of fans of all ages, especially the audience of grownups, who came out of their homes to watch 'Top Gun: Maverick' at a time when many of them had not been to a theater in years," the veteran producer said at the ceremony (via The Hollywood Reporter). Bruckheimer, who also produced the original '86 classic, paid tribute to director Tony Scott in his acceptance speech, calling him "a visual genius ..." Audiences will remember that "Top Gun: Maverick" ended its initial credits sequence with a tribute to the late director.

Best Director, meanwhile, was awarded to "Elvis" helmer Baz Luhrmann. "Everything Everywhere All at Once" star Michelle Yeoh was presented with the Best Actress award by fellow co-star Stephanie Hsu. Brendan Fraser nabbed the Best Actor award for his performance in "The Whale."Will "Maverick" achieve Oscar gold later this March? Only time will tell what the Academy has in store for the box office juggernaut. 

Audiences who want to see producer Bruckheimer's heartfelt speech can watch AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards on Feb 17, on PBS.