Audiences haven’t lost the need for speed, even 36 years after the original Top Gun.
Driven by good reviews, Top Gun: Maverick topped the weekend box office during Memorial Day. The film is estimated to gross $124 million from Friday to Sunday and $151 million in total over the entire Memorial Day weekend. That’s good enough for the best opening weekend of star and producer Tom Cruise’s entire career – and the second-best Memorial Day opening weekend ever behind Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (which grossed $153 million Friday through Memorial Day Monday in 2007).
For Cruise, it’s his biggest opening weekend ever by a huge margin. His next best debut came in 2005 War of the Worlds, which opened with $64.8 million. Not far behind was Mission: Impossible—Fallout (the sixth and newest film in this franchise) which earned $61.2 when it debuted in theaters in 2018. The original Superior gunfor comparison, only grossed $8.1 million in its opening weekend in 1986, despite only playing in around 1,500 theaters compared to maverickit’s 4700. Superior gun still became the biggest movie of 1986, grossing $180.4 million – the equivalent of $475 million when you adjust that figure for inflation.
For Paramount, the huge opening weekend is a validation of their decision to keep Top Gun: Maverick on the shelf for two years pending the full reopening of cinemas after the worst of the Covid pandemic. The film’s massive sets and impressive dogfight sequences were clearly designed to be seen on the big screen. It wouldn’t have had the same impact playing on Paramount+ or another streaming service. Whether it was the promise of those stunning visuals or the allure of seeing Tom Cruise finally return in one of his iconic roles, audiences showed up in droves for the film.
In another box office note: At the end of the weekend Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will have passed The Batman to be the highest-grossing film in the United States in 2022 with $375 million in ticket sales to date.
Superior gun Easter eggs in Top Gun: Maverick
Did you catch those callbacks to the original Superior gun in the following ?