Tom Cruise He may have performed one of the most daring tricks of his career – getting audiences to go to the movies for something that doesn’t involve superheroes.
“Top Gun: MaverickIt pulled record-breaking blockbuster ticket sales in its opening weekend, raising $134 million from a record 4,732 North American theaters. extraordinary and Skydance’s all-American action adventure is expected to raise $151 million by Monday, defying expectations while also aiming to set a new record for its Memorial Day opening weekends. (Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”, which launched with $153 million over its long weekend in 2017, currently holds the holiday record.) It’s a testament to the glamorous reviews, loads of nostalgia, and Cruise’s return to the cockpit to do real air stunts as pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.
At the international box office, the sequel to 1986’s “Top Gun” flew in for $124 million, an impressive sum as the film didn’t play in major regions, China and Russia. “Top Gun: Maverick” grossed $248 million worldwide in total.
“Top Gun: Maverick” is Cruise’s highest-grossing domestic release in his 40-year career, and his first film to surpass $100 million in its opening weekend. Opening for $64 million in 2005, “War of the Worlds” was previously Cruise’s biggest opening weekend.
Audiences over the age of 40 went into effect (55% of ticket buyers) when Paramount gave the green light for another “Top Gun,” which is impressive because the demographics most reluctant to return are theaters. Still, the dazzling stunts on “Maverick” managed to attract a significant percentage of millennial moviegoers (45% of people 35 or younger) who were not alive when “Top Gun” opened 36 years ago. The positive word-of-mouth of the movie should help it continue to reach younger audiences.
David A. Gross, director of film consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, described the film’s three-day run as “outstanding”.
“The source material stays strong, the execution is excellent, and Tom Cruise makes it work flawlessly,” he says.
Imax and 3D displays were added to the higher grosses for “Maverick,” with 22% of total box office revenue coming from premium formats. Imax alone is expected to contribute $21 million domestically and $32.5 million globally over the extended weekend.
“If you think movies are dead, watch ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and then let me know what you think,” says Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax. “This movie heralds the return of the summer blockbuster and is a catalyst that will fuel demand for cinema as an F-18 breaks the sound barrier. There’s no way you can walk away sitting in a theater with a huge screen and chest-pounding speakers thinking there’s another way to experience ‘Top Gun: Maverick’.”
“Top Gun: Maverick” continued the stellar box office record for Paramount, making it the studio’s fifth film to hit the screens this year. Without the help of comics or angry dinosaurs, the studio’s 2022 roster—also “Sonic the Hedgehog” ($182 million in North America), “The Lost City” ($102 million in North America), “The Scream” ($81 million) in North America in America) and “Jackass Forever” ($57 million in North America) – had huge hits in theaters. Paramount has almost no movies released during the pandemic, instead bringing big titles like Chris Pratt’s “The Tomorrow War”, director Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and Eddie Murphy’s “Coming 2 America” to streaming services. An impressive recovery since its launch.
Despite numerous delays (the “Top Gun” sequel was scheduled to open in the summer of 2020, until COVID-19 messed up those plans), Cruise was adamant that “Maverick” didn’t follow in the footsteps of direct-release films. Since the film was enthusiastically reviewed, the two-year wait has already begun to bear fruit. It has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and a rare “A+” CinemaScore.
“I’m glad we made this decision,” says Chris Aronson, Paramount’s chief of local distribution, about keeping the film on the big screen. “This movie is going to be a big hit. It will attract those who have not been to the cinemas for a long time.”
Joseph Kosinski directed PG-13 “Top Gun: Maverick,” which takes decades from the original and sees Maverick training a new group of cocky airmen for an important mission. The cast includes Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Connelly and Val Kilmer, who played Iceman in the first “Top Gun.”
“Top Gun: Maverick” also needs cinemas to justify its hefty $170 million production budget, which does not include the tens of millions spent promoting the film to audiences worldwide. Among these efforts was its flamboyant premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, which culminated in eight fighter jets flying over the Croisette (the French government paid for it). Skydance Media co-produced and co-financed the film.
Only one movie, Disney and 20th Century’s “The Bob’s Burgers Movie,” was brave enough to go against “Top Gun: Maverick.” For a movie based on a long-running animated TV show, “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” grossed an impressive $12.6 million from 3,425 venues, enough to take it to number three at the box office. The well-reviewed movie should end the long Memorial Day weekend with $15 million.
“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” took place just behind “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which dropped to #2 on the domestic box office three weeks later. Disney’s latest Marvel Cinematic Universe installment is down 50% from 3,805 cinemas in its fourth weekend to add $16.5 million. It is expected to reach $21.1 million in the four-day framework. The superhero sequel, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, has grossed $375 million in North America and $868.7 million worldwide to date.
At #4, “Downton Abbey: A New Era” has raised $5.9 million between Friday and Sunday, down 63% since its opening. It is estimated to earn $7.5 million from 3,830 theaters by Monday. After two weeks in theaters, the continuing big-screen sequel to the beloved British television show grossed $30 million in North America and $68.9 million worldwide. The sequel cost $40 million to make, so the latest “Downton” adventure has a ways to go before it falls into darkness.
Universal’s animated heist comedy “The Bad Guys” rounded out the top five for $4.6 million from 2,944 locations. By Monday, the family-friendly movie will hit $6.1 million, bringing its domestic share to $82 million.
Expect “Top Gun Maverick” to fly high in movie theaters without much programming until “Jurassic World: Dominion” on June 10.