‘Top Gun: Maverick’ wins Tom Cruise 1st $100 million opening

May 28, 2022, 8:35 PM | Updated: May 29, 2022, 10:02 am
Tom Cruise poses for the media during the 'Top Gun Maverick' UK premiere at a central London cinema...

Tom Cruise poses for the media during the 'Top Gun Maverick' UK premiere at a central London cinema, on Thursday, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Forget breaking the sound barrier: Tom Cruise just flew past a major career milestone.

The 59-year-old superstar just got his first $100 million opening weekend with “Top Gun: Maverick.” In its first three days in North American theaters, the long-in-the-works sequel earned an estimated $124 million in ticket sales, Paramount Pictures said Sunday. Including international showings, its worldwide total is $248 million.

It’s a supersonic start for a film that still has the wide-open skies of Memorial Day itself to rake in even more cash. According to projections and estimates, by Monday’s close, “Top Gun: Maverick” will likely have over $150 million.

“These results are ridiculously, over-the-top fantastic,” said Chris Aronson, Paramount’s president of domestic distribution. “I’m happy for everyone. I’m happy for the company, for Tom, for the filmmakers.”

Though undeniably one of the biggest stars in the world — perhaps even “the last movie star,” according to various headlines — Cruise is not known for massive blockbuster openings.

Before “Maverick,” his biggest domestic debut was in 2005, with Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds,” which opened to $64 million. After that it was “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” with $61 million in 2018. It’s not that his films don’t make money in the long run: They just aren’t enormously frontloaded.

“Top Gun: Maverick” had an extremely long journey to get to the theaters. The sequel to the late Tony Scott’s “Top Gun,” which was released in 1986, was originally slated to open in the summer of 2020. Its marketing campaign technically started back in July 2019. The pandemic got in the way of those plans, however, and it was delayed several times. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and co-produced and co-financed by Skydance, the sequel reportedly cost $152 million to make.

But even as the months, and years, went by and many other companies chose to compromise on hybrid releases, Cruise and Paramount didn’t waver on their desire to have a major theatrical release. A streaming debut was simply not an option.

“That was never going to happen,” Cruise said in Cannes.

And it is major, with 4,735 North American theaters (a record) showing “Top Gun: Maverick.” It also opened in 23,600 locations in 62 international markets.

“This is one of the longest runways for a marketing campaign for any film ever. And it only served to create more excitement around the movie,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “This movie literally waited for the movie theater to come back.”

The build up has been just as flashy, with fighter-jet-adorned premieres on an aircraft carrier in San Diego and at the Cannes Film Festival, where Cruise was also given an honorary Palme d’Or, and a royal premiere in London attended by Prince William and his wife Kate.

“The feeling you get when you watch this film with an audience, it’s pretty special,” Aronson said. “The first big screening we had, there was spontaneous applause during the movie.”

Reviews have been stellar, too, with the film notching a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences, who were 58% male, gave it an A+ CinemaScore, according to exit polls.

The new film has Cruise reprising the role of Maverick, who returns to the elite aviation training program to train the next generation of flyers, including Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Monica Barbaro, Greg Tarzan Davis, Danny Ramirez, Lewis Pullman and Jay Ellis. Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm and Val Kilmer, reprising his role from the original, also star.

“This solidifies the notion that the movie theater is a singular and a vitally important outlet for people,” Dergarabedian said. “People are looking for a great escape from everything that’s going on in the world right now.”

“Maverick” is now among the top pandemic era openings, still led by “Spider-Man: No Way Home” with $260 million, followed by “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” with $187 million and “The Batman” with $134 million.

Notably, “Top Gun: Maverick” is the only non-superhero movie in the bunch. It also attracted a wide swath of age groups to the theater. An estimated 55% of the audience was over 35.

“Superhero movies aren’t for everybody. This movie is for everyone and that’s what sets it apart,” Aronson said. “The theatrical exhibition business has challenges ahead of it, but this is a shot in the arm for that.”

“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” was the only new release that dared go up against “Top Gun.” Released by 20th Century Studios and Disney, the animated pic earned $12.6 million from 3,425 locations. It opened in third place, behind “Doctor Strange 2,” which earned $16.4 million in its fourth weekend in theaters.

“Top Gun” will continue to essentially have the skies to itself until “Jurassic World: Dominion” opens on June 10.

“It has a really nice, open marketplace to play,” Dergarabedian said. “Tom Cruise has always been about consistency. His movies are about the marathon. This is the first movie of his that is sprinting to big box office numbers. Here, he gets the sprint and the marathon.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Tuesday.

1. “Top Gun: Maverick,” $124 million.

2. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” $16.4 million.

3. “The Bob’s Burgers Movie,” $12.6 million.

4. “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” $5.9 million.

5. “The Bad Guys,” $4.6 million.

6. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” $2.5 million.

7. “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” $2.5 million.

8. “The Lost City,” $1.8 million.

9. “Men,” $1.2 million.

10. “F3: Fun and Frustration,” $1 million.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A man works at a manufacturer of Integrated Chip encapsulation in Nantong in eastern China's Jiangs...
Associated Press

China manufacturing weak, adding to economy pressure

BEIJING (AP) — Growth in Chinese factory activity was weak in September, export orders fell and employers cut jobs, two surveys showed Friday, adding to pressure on lackluster economic growth. A monthly purchasing managers’ index released by business news magazine Caixin fell to 48.1 from August’s 49.5 on a 100-point scale on which readings below […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das gestures during a press conference afte...
Associated Press

India raises interest rate to 5.90% to tame inflation

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s central bank on Friday raised its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 5.90% in its fourth hike this year and said developing economies were facing challenges of slowing growth, elevated food and energy prices, debt distress and currency depreciation. Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das projected inflation […]
23 hours ago
Currency traders watch monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquart...
Associated Press

Asian stocks sink on German inflation, British tax cuts

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks sank again Friday after German inflation spiked higher, British Prime Minister Liz Truss defended a tax-cut plan that rattled investors and Chinese factory activity weakened. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney retreated. Oil prices edged lower. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index fell 2.1% on Thursday to its lowest level […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba participates in a forum about the challenges Mississippi's capi...
Associated Press

Water crisis tests Mississippi mayor who started as activist

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The mayor of Mississippi’s capital was 5 years old when his parents moved their family from New York to Jackson in 1988 so that his father, who had been involved in a Black nationalist movement in the 1970s, could return to the unfinished business of challenging inequity and fighting racial injustice. […]
23 hours ago
Residents check on one another in a flooded neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursda...
Associated Press

After Ian, the effects in southwest Florida are everywhere

Hurricane Ian was over southwest Florida for only a few hours. It will take months to clean up all the damage. Maybe longer. And some of the destruction can’t be cleaned up at all. From trees getting ripped out of the ground to signs being ripped apart, traffic lights crashing onto roadways and some buildings […]
23 hours ago
This is a locator map for Afghanistan with its capital, Kabul. (AP Photo)...
Associated Press

Taliban say suicide blast in Shiite area of Kabul kills 19

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bombing struck an education center in a Shiite area of the Afghan capital on Friday, killing 19 people and wounding 27, a Taliban-appointed spokesman for the Kabul police chief said. The explosion inside the center in the Dashti Barchi neighborhood of Kabul took place in the morning hours, said […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ wins Tom Cruise 1st $100 million opening