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Author Topic: "Top Gun" 30th Anniversary
Michael Coate
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1866
From: Los Angeles, California
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 05-20-2016 06:40 PM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mighty Wings: Remembering "Top Gun" On Its 30th Anniversary

quote:
MIGHTY WINGS:
REMEMBERING “TOP GUN” ON ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY

By Michael Coate

“Up there with the best of the best.”

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of Top Gun, the popular military drama starring Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, and Anthony Edwards.

Top Gun, directed by Tony Scott (The Hunger, Crimson Tide) and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer (Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop), opened 30 years ago this week, and for the occasion The Bits features a compilation of box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context, passages from vintage film reviews, a list of the 70-millimeter “showcase” presentations, and, finally, an interview segment with documentarian and Tony Scott associate, Charles de Lauzirika.

TOP GUN NUMBER$

0 = Number of sequels and remakes
1 = Number of Academy Awards
1 = Rank among top-earning movies during opening weekend
1 = Rank among top-earning movies of 1986 (calendar year)
1 = Rank among top-earning movies of 1986 (summer season)
1 = Rank among top-selling live-action, feature-film videocassettes and discs of 1987
3 = Number of weeks nation’s top-grossing movie (week #1, #4 & #19)
4 = Number of Academy Award nominations
4 = Rank among Paramount’s top-earning movies of all time at close of original run
5 = Number of weeks soundtrack album was #1 on Billboard top album chart
10 = Number of months between theatrical release and home-video release
12 = Rank among top-earning movies of the 1980s
14 = Rank on all-time list of top box-office earners at close of original release
38 = Number of weeks of longest-running engagement
73 = Number of days to gross $100 million
111 = Rank on current list of all-time top-grossing movies (domestic, adjusted for inflation)
125 = Number of 70mm prints
214 = Rank on current list of all-time top-grossing movies (domestic)
280 = Rank on current list of all-time top-grossing movies (worldwide)
1,028 = Number of opening-week engagements
1.9 million = Number of pre-ordered home video units sold in 1987*
9 million = Number of copies of soundtrack album sold

$26.95 = Suggested retail price of initial home video release*
$7,969 = Opening-weekend per-screen average
$3.0 million = Box-office gross (2013 3-D re-release)
$8.2 million = Opening-weekend box-office gross
$15.0 million = Production cost
$32.6 million = Production cost (adjusted for inflation)
$79.4 million = Box-office rental (domestic)
$176.8 million = Box-office gross (original release)
$177.1 million = Box-office gross (international)
$179.8 million = Box-office gross (original release + 3-D re-release)
$356.8 million = Worldwide box-office gross (worldwide)
$384.8 million = Box-office gross (international, adjusted for inflation)
$387.2 million = Box-office gross (domestic, adjusted for inflation)
$772.0 million = Box-office gross (worldwide, adjusted for inflation)

*Established new industry record

A SAMPLING OF MOVIE REVIEWER QUOTES

“No doubt about it: Top Gun is going to be the hit that The Right Stuff should have been. They are not in the same class of films, but this much must be said: The aerial sequences in Top Gun are as thrilling—while remaining coherent—as any ever put on film.” — Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

“A lot of people are going to want to fly Navy jets by the end of the summer, because Top Gun may be the best military recruiting film ever made.” — Donald Porter, Ogden Standard-Examiner

“Top Gun is a male bonding adventure movie that’s both exciting and disturbing, mind-boggling and vacuous…. Measuring the movie against its model—Hawks’ air films—you can see the difference between a great director making his movies breathe, and a superproduction that depends on action and hardware. Top Gun is an empty-headed technological marvel. The actors—especially Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer and Meg Ryan—are good, but only connect as archetypes. The emotion heats up only when the planes are flying. (If Howard Hughes were alive, he might watch Top Gun more times than Ice Station Zebra.)” — Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times

“Top Gun is a visual stunner. I think its chief entertainment value lies in protracted photographic excitement—simply the best aerial photography seen in the jet age…. To get the full aerial photo effects of Top Gun, you ought to catch it at a theater where it’s playing in 70mm with full-crank sound. That way you’ll feel like you’re inside a 100-watt stereo set that is inside a video game that is on a roller coaster.” — Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle

“There hasn’t been such a star-making role for a male performer since John Travolta primped, posed and pranced his way to the top in Saturday Night Fever. Cruise, who has played adolescents until now, is given the full treatment in Top Gun. The camera caresses him, in beaming closeups of his face and body, and he responds to its overtures with the kind of charismatic narcissism that only a male sex symbol can muster.” — George Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Paramount’s Top Gun is precisely the kind of slick, commercial, well-crafted, general-audience blockbuster the other major studios have been looking for all year, and it will probably still be filling Paramount’s coffers by year’s end. The movie makes everyone in it look good, but it’s particularly a triumph for its director, Tony Scott, who was undeservedly trashed by most critics for his stylish first film, The Hunger.” — John Hartl, The Seattle Times

“The dogfights are absolutely the best since Clint Eastwood’s electrifying aerial scenes in Firefox. But look out for the scenes where the people talk to one another.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“[Top Gun] resembles a sparkling, shining replica of a 1940s John Wayne Flying Seabees-Flying Tigers-Flying Leathernecks movie, updated to the mid-1980s. Judging from the audience reaction to several sneak previews of the film, Top Gun may be exactly what audiences want. Whatever that says about today’s audiences, it augurs well for the picture’s financial fate.” — Philip Wuntch, The Dallas Morning News

“A trite, predictable script, weak on characterization, draws commensurate performances from Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. Some nice aerial photography and military lingo dialogue lend authenticity—but the film needs more than that.” — Catharine Rambeau, Detroit Free Press

“Two hours of pure pow!” — Peter Travers, People

“Top Gun is a summer film in the expected form, a wild visceral ride—especially in 70mm. This is as old-fashioned as they come, a John Wayne military shoot-’em-up in the sky, with aerial dogfights [that] are genuinely thrilling. On the ground, however, Top Gun misfires. Or crash-lands. The problem is an unconvincing romance and an overly contrived plotline, apparently aiming for the audience that made An Officer and a Gentleman a hit.” — Christopher Hicks, (Salt Lake City) Deseret News

“Top Gun has ‘big summer hit’ written all over it.” — Rob Salem, Toronto Star

“This movie seems determined to break the sound barrier; if it isn’t the roar of the jets, it’s the roar of Maverick’s motorcycle, and when that subsides, there’s always the clamor of the music.” — Walter Goodman, The New York Times

“Top Gun is top drawer, top dog, tops!” — Joel Siegel, ABC-TV

“If you’ve ever fantasized about flying at twice the speed of sound, tumbling through clouds and banking against the stratosphere, then Top Gun is the daredevil film for you. Or if you simply like good cinema—enhanced by wide-film technology, superior sound recording and plane-mounted camerawork—Top Gun is the solid drama you crave.” — Shirley Jinkins, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Top Gun has Rambo’s military core without any of its political effluvia. When Top Gun becomes successful, as presumably it will, we will see that war movies succeed because they are dramatic, not political.” — David Brooks, The Washington Times

“Top Gun is Flashdance in the skies.” — Digby Diehl, CBS-TV

“Not since Duke Wayne took the sands of Iwo Jima has Hollywood produced a more gung-ho invitation to join the military than Top Gun. I saw the film in the company of several hundred teen-age boys who whooped, hollered, cheered and applauded throughout, and then, no doubt, headed straight to the nearest Navy recruitment center to sign up for life.” — Michael Burkett, The (Santa Ana) Orange County Register

THE 70MM ENGAGEMENTS

The following is a list of the first-run 70mm Six-Track Dolby Stereo premium-format presentations of Top Gun in the United States and Canada. These were, arguably, the best theaters in which to experience Top Gun and the only way to faithfully hear the movie’s Oscar-nominated audio mix. Only about ten percent of the film’s print run was in the deluxe, expensive-to-manufacture 70mm format. And of the 200+ movies released during 1986, Top Gun was among only 17 to have 70mm prints produced and had the third-highest number of such prints that year behind Fox’s Aliens and Paramount’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

For this release, Paramount employed the services of Lucasfilm’s Theater Alignment Program (TAP) to evaluate and approve the theaters selected to book a 70mm print. As well, the movie was booked into as many THX-certified venues as possible.

The noise-reduction and signal-processing format for the prints was Dolby “A,” and the soundtrack was a split-surround/single-surround combo format. Some of the markets in which the split-surround format (essentially the same as the contemporary 5.1 channel layout) was heard included Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Dallas. The aspect ratio was 2.20:1 and was blown up from Super-35 photography.

A 70mm teaser trailer for The Golden Child was sent out with the 70mm Top Gun prints and which the distributor recommended be screened with the presentation.

The listing includes those 70mm engagements that commenced May 16th, 1986. With one Week #2 exception, the listing does not include any of the additional wave, mid-run upgrade, move-over, sub-run, re-release or international engagements, nor does it include any of the movie’s thousands of standard 35mm engagements.

So, which North American theaters screened the 70mm version of Top Gun? Read on….

ALBERTA
Calgary — Famous Players’ Palliser Square Twin
Calgary — Famous Players’ Sunridge 5-plex
Edmonton — Famous Players’ Paramount
Edmonton — Famous Players’ Westmall 5-plex

ARIZONA
Tucson — Mann’s Buena Vista Twin

ARKANSAS
Little Rock — United Artists’ Cinema 150

BRITISH COLUMBIA
Burnaby — Famous Players’ Lougheed Mall Triplex
Vancouver — Famous Players’ Stanley (THX)
Victoria — Famous Players’ Coronet

CALIFORNIA
Berkeley — Blumenfeld/Cinerama’s Berkeley
Burlingame — Syufy’s Hyatt Triplex
Corte Madera — Blumenfeld/Marin’s Cinema
Costa Mesa — Edwards’ South Coast Plaza Triplex
Daly City — Plitt’s Plaza Twin (THX)
Fremont — Syufy’s Cinedome East 8-plex
Lakewood — Pacific’s Lakewood Center 4-plex
Los Angeles (Hollywood) — Mann’s Chinese Triplex (THX)
Los Angeles (Westwood Village) — Mann’s National (THX)
Montclair — Pacific’s Montclair Triplex
Newport Beach — Edwards’ Newport Twin
Orange — Syufy’s Cinedome 6-plex
Sacramento — Syufy’s Century 6-plex
Sacramento — Syufy’s Cinedome 8-plex
San Diego — Mann’s Loma
San Diego — Pacific’s Cinerama
San Francisco — Blumenfeld’s Regency I
San Jose — Syufy’s Town & Country
Torrance — Mann’s Old Towne 6-plex

COLORADO
Denver — Mann’s Century 21 (THX)

CONNECTICUT
East Hartford — Redstone’s Showcase 9-plex

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Washington — Kogod-Burka’s Cinema

FLORIDA
Kendall — American Multi-Cinema’s Town & Country 10-plex
North Miami Beach — Wometco’s 163rd Street Triplex
Tampa — Plitt’s University Collection 6-plex
Winter Park — Wometco’s Winter Park Triplex

GEORGIA
Atlanta — Georgia Theatre Company’s Lenox Square 6-plex
Kennesaw — Storey’s Town Center 8-plex (opened May 23rd)
Tucker — American Multi-Cinema’s Northlake Festival 8-plex

HAWAII
Honolulu — Consolidated’s Waikiki Twin (H**-4***)

ILLINOIS
Belleville — Bloomer Amusement Company’s Cinema
Calumet City — Plitt’s River Oaks 8-plex
Chicago — Plitt’s Carnegie
Lombard — General Cinema Corporation’s Yorktown 6-plex (THX)
Schaumburg — Plitt’s Woodfield 9-plex
Skokie — Marks & Rosenfield’s Old Orchard 4-plex

INDIANA
Fort Wayne — Mallers-Spirou’s Holiday Twin

KANSAS
Overland Park — Dickinson’s Glenwood Twin

KENTUCKY
Louisville — Redstone’s Showcase 11-plex

LOUISIANA
Metairie — Cobb’s Lakeside 4-plex

MANITOBA
Winnipeg — Famous Players’ Metropolitan

MARYLAND
Baltimore — Durkee’s Senator
Woodlawn — General Cinema Corporation’s Security Square Mall 4-plex

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston — USA’s Charles Triplex

MICHIGAN
Ann Arbor — United Artists’ Fox Village 4-plex
Bloomfield Hills — Redstone’s Showcase 10-plex
Burton — Redstone’s Showcase 6-plex
Cascade Township — Redstone’s Showcase 10-plex
Dearborn — United Artists’ The Movies at Fairlane 10-plex
Harper Woods — Suburban Detroit’s Eastland 7-plex
Southfield — Suburban Detroit’s Northland Twin
Sterling Heights — Redstone’s Showcase 11-plex

MINNESOTA
Maplewood — United Artists’ The Movies at Maplewood II 6-plex

MISSOURI
Chesterfield — Wehrenberg’s Clarkson 6-plex
Independence — Mid-America’s Blue Ridge East 5-plex
Kansas City — Commonwealth’s Bannister Mall 5-plex

NEVADA
Las Vegas — Syufy’s Parkway Triplex

NEW YORK
New York — Loews’ 34th Street Showplace Triplex
New York — Loews’ 84th Street 6-plex
New York — Loews’ Astor Plaza
New York — Loews’ Orpheum Twin
New York — Loews’ State Twin

NORTH CAROLINA
Raleigh — Litchfield’s Mission Valley 5-plex

NOVA SCOTIA
Halifax — Famous Players’ Scotia Square

OHIO
Columbus — General Cinema Corporation’s Northland 8-plex (THX)
Dayton — Chakeres’ Dayton Mall 8-plex
Mentor — National’s Great Lakes Mall 5-plex
Springdale — Redstone’s Showcase 8-plex
Toledo — Redstone’s Showcase 5-plex
Westerville — American Multi-Cinema’s Westerville 6-plex

OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma City — Commonwealth’s Quail Twin
Tulsa — United Artists’ Boman Twin

ONTARIO
Hamilton — Famous Players’ Tivoli
London — Famous Players’ Park
Mississauga — Famous Players’ Square One 4-plex
North York — Famous Players’ Town & Countrye Twin
Ottawa — Famous Players’ Elgin Twin
Scarborough — Famous Players’ Cedarbrae 6-plex
Toronto — Famous Players’ Cumberland 4-plex <“La Reserve”/reserved seats>
Toronto — Famous Players’ Eglinton (THX)
Toronto — Famous Players’ Runnymede Twin
Toronto — Famous Players’ University

OREGON
Portland — Moyer’s Bagdad Triplex

PENNSYLVANIA
Montgomeryville — Budco’s 309 4-plex
Philadelphia — Budco’s Orleans 8-plex
Philadelphia — SamEric’s Sam’s Place Twin

QUEBEC
Dorval — United’s Dorval Triplex
Laval — United’s Laval 5-plex
Montreal — United’s Imperial (THX)

TENNESSEE
Knoxville — Simpson’s Capri 4-plex
Nashville — Carmike’s Belle Meade

TEXAS
Addison — United Artists’ Prestonwood Creek 5-plex (THX)
Arlington — Loews’ Lincoln Square 6-plex
Austin — American Multi-Cinema’s Americana
Austin — Presidio’s Arbor 4-plex (THX)
Dallas — Loews’ Park Central 4-plex
Dallas — United Artists’ Cine Twin
Dallas — United Artists’ Walnut Hill 6-plex
Fort Worth — United Artists’ Hulen 6-plex (THX)
Houston — Plitt’s West Oaks 7-plex
Houston — Plitt’s Woodlake Triplex
Hurst — United Artists’ North East 6-plex (THX)
Mesquite — American Multi-Cinema’s Towne Crossing 8-plex
San Antonio — Santikos’ Galaxy 10-plex (THX)
San Antonio — Santikos’ Northwest 10-plex (THX)

UTAH
Salt Lake City — Mann’s Villa
Salt Lake City — Plitt’s Centre

VIRGINIA
Richmond — Neighborhood’s Ridge 7-plex

WASHINGTON
Bellevue — Sterling Recreation Organization’s Factoria 5-plex
Lynnwood — Sterling Recreation Organization’s Grand Cinemas Alderwood 7-plex
Seattle — Sterling Recreation Organization’s Cinerama
Seattle — Sterling Recreation Organization’s Oak Tree 6-plex (THX)
Spokane — Sterling Recreation Organization’s Lyons Avenue 4-plex
Tacoma — Sterling Recreation Organization’s Tacoma Mall Twin
Tukwila — Sterling Recreation Organization’s Lewis & Clark 7-plex

WISCONSIN
Brookfield — General Cinema Corporation’s Brookfield Square Twin

THE INTERVIEW

Charles de Lauzirika is the producer of Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun, which originally appeared on the 2004 Special Edition DVD release of Top Gun and subsequently ported over to the Blu-ray Disc releases of the film. Charles is an acclaimed film documentarian and DVD/Blu-ray producer with over 100 credits, including several of Tony Scott’s films (including Man on Fire, Revenge: Director’s Cut and Domino) and such essential home video box sets as Blade Runner, Twin Peaks, Prometheus and the Alien Anthology. His feature directorial debut Crave, starring Ron Perlman, was released in 2013, and won multiple awards at festivals around the world. He recently produced the Star Wars: Launch Bay featurette now playing at both Disneyland in Anaheim and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, which explores the past, present and future of the Star Wars franchise.

Michael Coate (The Digital Bits): In what way is Top Gun worthy of celebration on its 30th anniversary?

Charles de Lauzirika: I think that 30 years later, Top Gun is still referenced quite a bit in pop culture and even casual conversation, so even though it’s kind of an ’80s artifact, it’s still very relevant. I mean, look at the Resistance attack on Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens. Some of those X-Wing-mounted camera angles are straight out of Top Gun. And that’s kind of a fun full-circle since Top Gun was inspired by Star Wars to a major degree. And let’s not get forget the recurring Danger Zone gags on Archer. Or all the other references, songs, visuals and lines of dialogue that get repeated over and over to this day.

Coate: When did you first see Top Gun and what did you think of it?

Lauzirika: I was living in Barcelona when it was released in 1986, and back then, American movies wouldn’t usually open abroad until several weeks or months later. But I moved back to Los Angeles a couple months into its theatrical run and my friends back home had really been hyping it up like it was the greatest movie ever. They were actually going around in public wearing aviator sunglasses and flight jackets emblazoned with various Top Gun and U.S. Navy patches. So when I finally saw it at the Mann National in Westwood, expectations were impossibly high. And I have to admit, after it was over, I was kind of disappointed initially. I mean, it was fun and really well-made. Beautifully shot with some truly exceptional aerial work. But it was also kind of goofy, cheesy and fluffy, which I wasn’t expecting. Eventually, I grew to enjoy it more and more over the years and now just accept it as a straight-up fun, energetic ’80s flick.

Coate: Top Gun is among a fairly small group of movies in its success range to not have any sequels. Do you think there should be a sequel (remake, reboot, etc.)?

Lauzirika: I know there’s been quite a bit of work put into a sequel over the years. It could be very interesting, since aerial combat has changed over the last three decades, and today so much of the war on terror is waged by predator drones. So I think the current state of the world and the cutting edge technology in play would provide for some interesting new twists in the Top Gun formula. Ultimately, what’s most important is that they find a compelling story for the characters to be challenged by. I’m not sure how an older Maverick would adapt to the mentor role that Tom Skerritt’s Viper played in the first film. I just don’t see Maverick ever being that grounded. He’s a lot like Captain Kirk in that way. No matter how old he gets, he still wants to be in control, getting his hands dirty in the heat of battle. But I’d be curious to see how the old characters have evolved over time, and also how they relate to the next generation, who will probably be even more wild, arrogant and irresponsible than they were.

Coate: Top Gun was only director Tony Scott’s second feature film. How risky was it for him to be chosen to direct, and what did having a director with a fresh vision bring to the project compared with how the movie may have turned out if made by say a more experienced journeyman type?

Lauzirika: See, I think picking a director like Tony, coming off a dark, artsy film like The Hunger, shows the kind of vision and bravery that doesn’t really exist in quite the same way anymore. It’s funny because at the time, it seemed like Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer were largely known as A-list hit makers, churning out popcorn blockbusters for the masses. But looking back at their work, I think they actually made some really brilliant artistic decisions in how they cultivated a whole roster of bold visualists like Tony, Michael Bay and others. And these directors were allowed to establish their own unique creative style that flourished even beyond their Simpson and Bruckheimer projects. So picking a filmmaker like Tony for Top Gun might have been a risk, but it was a smart risk. He had a cinematic style and personality all his own, which then influenced a whole other generation of filmmakers. When you watch a Tony Scott film, you damn well know who’s directing it. In the hands of another more journeyman director, I’m not sure Top Gun would be even a fraction as memorable as the film Tony made.

Coate: It’s been just over a decade since the DVD Special Edition and your Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun documentaries were made. What else would you like to do special edition-wise should another opportunity arise?

Lauzirika: I wish there was a way to resurrect those seemingly forever lost deleted scenes, like the one showing Goose’s funeral, but I’m afraid that will never come to pass. And yet I think the existing Top Gun disc is pretty comprehensive, all things considered. At this point, I think it would be more interesting to do a special edition for Days of Thunder. I’ve heard a lot of very interesting behind-the-scenes stories on that one. And with Tony and Don Simpson no longer with us, I think it would make for a nice tribute to their work.

Coate: Where do you think Top Gun ranks among director Tom Cruise’s body of work?

Lauzirika: I could try to rank it, but it would be futile. Tom Cruise just keeps making some really great, interesting, enjoyable films, so the ranking would always be fluid. I mean, Rogue Nation turned out to be my favorite Mission: Impossible movie, and it was the fifth in the series. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a big movie star so laser-focused and deeply committed to entertaining audiences the way Cruise is. The guy is fearless and even when it might seem like he’s going off the rails, I would never bet against him. I certainly think Top Gun will always be remembered as one of his signature films.

Coate: Where do you think Top Gun ranks among director Tony Scott’s body of work?

Lauzirika: Top Gun put Tony on the map when it comes to blockbuster filmmaking. So it’s obviously an important milestone in his filmography. I think he made far more personal and daring films throughout his career, but Top Gun captures so much of what we, as an audience, know about what “a Tony Scott film” is. It’s stylish and sexy, fast and furious, and it beautifully combines Tony’s artistic sensibilities—like his love of blue-black desert skies, dark smoky rooms, long lenses and painterly grad filters—and fuses them with his one-of-a-kind rock-and-roll sense of insanity and playfulness. Whenever I think back on my meetings with Tony over the years, I remember his easy smile and the mischievous twinkle in his eyes. In that regard, he and his films often like felt one and the same to me.

Coate: What is the legacy of Top Gun?

Lauzirika: I think at its most basic level, Top Gun will always be remembered as an essential ’80s movie that delivered high entertainment and show-stopping spectacle. I think there’s a variety of levels beneath its glossy surface to consider, even ironically. Just listen to Quentin Tarantino talk about it. But, ultimately, I think it’s a fun movie that intends to give you a good time, a few thrills, a few laughs, and send you on your way feeling better than you did beforehand. That’s what good movies do.

Coate: Thank you, Charlie, for participating and sharing your thoughts about Top Gun on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.

SPECIAL THANKS:
Laura Baas, Don Beelik, Raymond Caple, Nick DiMaggio, Thomas Hauerslev, John Hazelton, Rusty Heckaman, Mike Heenan, Bobby Henderson, Sarah Kenyon, Bill Kretzel, Charles de Lauzirika, Ronald A. Lee, Mark Lensenmayer, Stan Malone, Tim Reed, Stephen Rice, Desirée Sharland, Alex Smith, Cliff Stephenson, John Stewart, Kurt Wahlner, and to all of the librarians who helped with the research for this project.

SOURCES/REFERENCES:
Primary references for this project were promotional material published in hundreds of daily newspapers archived digitally and/or on microfilm plus numerous articles published in film industry trade publications Billboard, Boxoffice, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety.

SELECTED IMAGES:
Copyright 1986 Paramount Pictures Corporation

All figures and data included in this article pertain to the United States and Canada except where stated otherwise.

IN MEMORIAM
Art Scholl (Stunt Pilot), 1931-1985
Warren Skaaren (Associate Producer/Uncredited Screenwriter), 1946-1990
Don Simpson (Producer), 1943-1996
Jim Cash (Screenwriter), 1941-2000
Teena Marie (Lead Me On vocalist), 1956-2010
Tony Scott (Director), 1944-2012

-----Michael Coate

Michael Coate can be reached at: michaelcoate@thedigitalbits.com


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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12083
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-20-2016 08:54 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Where did you get Kogod-Burka's Cinema from? While Kogod and Burka DID start/own K-B Theatres...I never, in any paperwork ever saw the company presented by that name. By the time Top Gun came out, neither Kogod or Burka were part of the company. In fact, the company was really "Fremar Corp" by that time (actually long before that time). Fremar was a contraction of Fred Burka and Marvin Goldman. Our financial documents had Fremar Corp T/A K-B Theatres (Trading As). But even in my yute, it was never called Kogod-Burka's anything that I ever heard.

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Michael Coate
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1866
From: Los Angeles, California
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 05-22-2016 03:08 AM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Steve... Apparently, you didn't read enough of the article to detect the stylization pattern that I used when referencing the initialism-based chain names.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12083
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-22-2016 05:46 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nope...didn't...but it is still wrong. Just because that is where the K and B came from, it is inconsistent with how the theatres were referred, including internally. K-B was pronounced as a word (Kay-Bee) and that is how we answered our phones too).

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David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 4016
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 05-22-2016 09:56 AM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Edwards "Big Newport" (Newport Beach — Edwards’ Newport Twin) had a Saturday night sneak preview of Top Gun in 70mm. You buy a ticket for the regular show and stay for TG. I can't for the life of me remember what the regular show was but it was 35mm with optical sound. Top Gun in 70mm mag blew it away. Whatever "it" was. I've looked through a list of 1986 releases and nothing jumps out to me. I guess it might have been Short Circuit.

"That's how I remember it - Sorry if I have it wrong"

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12393
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-22-2016 01:06 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
By the time Top Gun came out, we were well into the "blockbuster" era where everybody WANTED to see movies right away when they came out, but we (in small towns) didn't have a chance to play them until months later, and we would often get a print that had been thoroughly hammered in a chain theater.

At least the situation had improved since the beginning of the blockbuster era -- with "Top Gun" the delay was only 3 1/2 months, but I still think we'd have done about twice or 3x the business on it had we been able to play it about 3 months sooner.

On our list of movies we've played since 1979, it is currently ranked at #534 (based on number of tickets sold, not gross).

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Claude S. Ayakawa
Film God

Posts: 2724
From: Waipahu, Hawaii, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 05-22-2016 03:38 PM      Profile for Claude S. Ayakawa   Author's Homepage   Email Claude S. Ayakawa   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw TOP CUN in 70mm at the Waikiki Twins in Honolulu
in house #1 and it was a fantastic show. I saw it again in a theatre about five years ago in IMAX 3D and it was also fantastic. I al;so have the 3D blu ray and the that too is great

-Claude

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Terry Monohan
Master Film Handler

Posts: 276
From: San Francisco CA USA
Registered: May 2014


 - posted 05-25-2016 12:47 PM      Profile for Terry Monohan   Email Terry Monohan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Mike for the list of 70mm theares showing Top Gun. When I saw It at the San Diego Cinerama after one week all the surround speakers had blown a speaker cone with all the bass.

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Michael Coate
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1866
From: Los Angeles, California
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 08-30-2016 12:33 PM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: David Stambaugh
The Edwards "Big Newport" (Newport Beach — Edwards’ Newport Twin) had a Saturday night sneak preview of Top Gun in 70mm. You buy a ticket for the regular show and stay for TG. I can't for the life of me remember what the regular show was but it was 35mm with optical sound. Top Gun in 70mm mag blew it away. Whatever "it" was. I've looked through a list of 1986 releases and nothing jumps out to me. I guess it might have been Short Circuit.
David... You asked this question before and the answer is the same: "Blue City" starring Ally Sheedy on May 10th, 1986.

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Sean McKinnon
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1561
From: Peabody Massachusetts
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 08-31-2016 04:20 PM      Profile for Sean McKinnon   Email Sean McKinnon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Unfortunately the list of numbers that starts this thread missed one important and sad number;

1 - Number of deaths on set - stunt pilot Arthur Everette Scholl was unable to recover his Pitts S2 Camera Plane from a flat spin and crashed in the Pacific Ocean. AFAIK the remains were never found.

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Mark Campbell
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 139
From: Seattle, WA USA
Registered: Jul 2007


 - posted 08-31-2016 05:01 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In Lynnwood, WA there were 2 first run multiplexes at the time: the SRO Grand Cinemas Alderwood and the (Tom Moyers) Luxury Theatres Alderwood 7. I think the article is confusing the two theaters. I can't remember where it played. The Alderwood 7 opened that year and had 2 THX certified auditoriums. It also marked a departure for Luxury theaters when they decided to stop building crummy theaters. The Alderwood 7 now lived on as the Regal Alderwood Stadium 7 with RPX.

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Michael Coate
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1866
From: Los Angeles, California
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 09-01-2016 12:59 PM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sean... Art Scholl is mentioned in the In Memoriam section at tail end of the article.

Mark... "Top Gun" definitely played first-run at the SRO Grand Cinemas Alderwood and not the other Alderwood complex operated by Luxury Theatres, so the Lynnwood venue name citation in the article is correct. A possible mistake, however, is the screen count of 7 that I cited, which might be the cause of the confusion. I have the SRO Grand Cinemas Alderwood listed as an 8-plex in my retrospective piece for "Aliens" (which played the same venue during same year). I can't say at this point if the screen-count discrepancy was a research error or simply a typo.

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Mark Campbell
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 139
From: Seattle, WA USA
Registered: Jul 2007


 - posted 09-01-2016 02:10 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Michael. Yes the Grand had 8 screens. At least 2 were 70mm capable. I was lucky enough to see Top Gun (among other titles) in 70mm at the Tacoma Mall Twin several times. It eventually moved to the Tacoma South Cinemas in 70 for a few weeks.

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Sean McKinnon
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1561
From: Peabody Massachusetts
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 09-01-2016 07:05 PM      Profile for Sean McKinnon   Email Sean McKinnon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You're right Michael. I apologize for missing that.

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