Top Gun: Maverick Opening Could Break Memorial Day Box Office Record

Tom Cruise is finally getting into the $100M inaugural club.

Across 4,735 locations, Top Gun: Maverick, the biggest theatrical release in domestic box office history, is expected to gross $150 million over the holiday weekend. On a three-day scale, Paramount forecasts $123 million in shipments. This is easily a new record debut for Cruise, whose previous best – a $64.8 million opening for 2005’s “War of the Worlds” – remains in the dust.

The legacy sequel to Tony Scott’s dizzying 1986 original kicked off with a bang, grossing $51.8 million on opening day, including $19.3 million in Thursday previews. That’s a record for Paramount Pictures, beating the $51.2 million on the opening day of 2010’s Iron Man 2. Co-financed and co-produced by Skydance, “Maverick” originally had a projected opening of between $85 million and $100 million over the long weekend, though momentum has only picked up since.

Top Gun: Maverick was originally scheduled to premiere in the summer of 2020 and set the release date well before COVID-19 entered the vernacular of the public. As the pandemic caused studios to overhaul their theatrical schedules, many big releases found new homes on streaming services. Paramount sold films like Aaron Sorkin’s future Oscar nominee The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Michael B. Jordan’s action film Without Remorse to streamers, which ended up on Netflix and Amazon, respectively. But “Maverick” wasn’t for sale, a decision Cruise has protested against. After sitting for two years, Paramount’s egg hatches into a golden goose.

Cruise has reunited with Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski for Top Gun: Maverick. Val Kilmer reprises his role as rival “Iceman” for the sequel, while Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm and Ed Harris also star. The rest of the cast consists of the likes of Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman and Monica Barbaro, who play a crew of young pilots who train Cruise’s Maverick for combat.

If Maverick ratings continue to climb, the film could become the best Memorial Day opening ever, potentially edging out 2007’s $153 million debut of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

The news on the road couldn’t be more promising for Top Gun. Paramount started preview screenings weeks ago, starting with a full premiere at CinemaCon in April, giving itself plenty of runway to build buzz. Critics were almost universally positive, with 97% of critics collected by Rotten Tomatoes giving their approval. Audiences love the film too, with “Maverick” earning a top rating of “A+” on CinemaScore.

in the diversity‘s review gave chief film critic Peter Debruge his own glowing endorsement, writing that Cruise “won’t win an Oscar for pantomiming such stoic swallow-your-pride stoicism, though [he] deserves one for everything else the role throws at him: if you’re going to blow the flight scenes here, it’s because many of them are real, taking the audience right into the cockpit, alongside a cast who’ve learned to fly for their roles. ”

With word of mouth and a bank holiday weekend looming, there’s still plenty of room for “Maverick” to grow. It remains to be seen how intense the film’s opening weekend will be, although it’s safe to assume that “Maverick,” a sequel to a decades-old action film, doesn’t carry the same “as soon as-when-possible” urgency among interested audiences as the fan base of an average one comic adaptation. “Maverick” has a whopping $170 million production budget, not to mention the expense of a marketing blitz and two-year release delays, but the returns so far have been strong.

While The Bob’s Burgers Movie doesn’t sizzle on the same level as Maverick, the weekend’s other major re-release doesn’t fare half as badly when it opens, either.

There’s more to come…

https://variety.com/2022/film/box-office/box-office-top-gun-maverick-opening-weekend-1235280137/ Top Gun: Maverick Opening Could Break Memorial Day Box Office Record

Charles Jones

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