‘Top Gun: Maverick’ soars to a grand opening at the box office

The sequel to the 1986 blockbuster, starring Tom Cruise in his most iconic role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, grossed an estimated $124 million domestically for its three-day opening weekend, according to Paramount.

Not only does that exceed expectations, which initially predicted “Maverick” to get closer to $80 million, but it also marks Cruise’s biggest opening weekend in his more than 40-year career. It’s Cruise’s first $100 million opening weekend and the third biggest debut of the year.

Paramount said “Maverick” is expected to earn $151 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend at the US box office. If the sequel, which sees Cruise’s Maverick teaching a new group of Top Gun pilots, lands on that number Monday, it will be one of the highest-ever openings for a Memorial Day weekend.

Worldwide, the film has earned $248 million to date, according to Paramount, who said 55% of the total in the US came from ticket buyers over the age of 35.

“Maverick” had a lot of buzz this weekend with high expectations and ratings even higher at 97% on the review site Rotten Tomatoes.
So the big weekend is a win for Cruise, Decisive PGREand especially theatres.
“Maverick” was supposed to hit cinema complexes in 2020, but was postponed several times due to the pandemic. Other theater movies turned to streaming, but “Maverick” waited for audiences to experience it on the big screen — a strategy Cruise was adamant about.

That strategy has paid off and shows that the big screen experience is still important to a large number of consumers.

“Top Gun: Maverick’s stellar performance marks a major turning point,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore SCOR, told CNN Business. “This is a very important weekend for both the industry and Cruise, who has demonstrated his undeniable stellar power and status as a true movie star in an era where this kind of distinction is becoming increasingly rare.”

The other good news for “Maverick” is that it could have legs at the box office for the next few weeks. The film received a perfect “A+” CinemaScore and has relatively no competition at the box office until “Jurassic World: Dominion” premieres in two weeks.

“‘Top Gun: Maverick’ has a clear runway,” added Dergarabedian. “By the time ‘Jurassic’ hits theaters, [‘Maverick’] will probably have already generated blockbuster numbers. It should have solid playability in theaters for the rest of the summer.”

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