Image Source: Fortune
Top Gun: Maverick has soared to new heights at the box office, grossing more than £196 million globally and setting a new record for a Tom Cruise film’s opening weekend.
The sequel to the 1986 blockbuster grossed an estimated £151 million (£119 million) in the United States, despite the industry’s post-pandemic lethargy and predictions that moviegoers would never return in large numbers.
The all-American action adventure from Paramount and Skydance was playing in a record 4,732 North American theaters, setting a new high for Memorial Day opening weekends. It comes after a string of glowing reviews for a nostalgic picture in which Cruise reprises his role as pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and does real aerial stunts.
The 59-year-old superstar’s first $100 million opening weekend has been achieved.
“These are unbelievably, over-the-top phenomenal figures,” said Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution at Paramount.
“I’m delighted for everyone. I’m delighted for the business, Tom, and the filmmakers.”
Cruise isn’t known for gigantic blockbuster debuts, despite being unquestionably one of the world’s top actors. Steven Spielberg’s War Of The Worlds, which debuted at $64 million (£51 million) in 2005, was his highest domestic opening before Maverick.
The route to the movies for Top Gun: Maverick was extraordinarily long. It was supposed to open in the summer of 2020, with a marketing campaign that started in July 2019, but it was repeatedly postponed owing to the epidemic. The sequel, directed by Joseph Kosinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, is said to have cost $152 million (£120 million).
Despite the fact that many other studios have chosen to compromise on hybrid releases, Cruise and Paramount have remained steadfast in their desire for a huge theatrical release, refusing to accept a streaming start.
“That was never going to happen,” Cruise stated at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month.
Along with the record amount of North American theaters screening the film, it also premiered in 23,600 locations across the world following “one of the longest runways for a marketing campaign for any film ever,” according to media expert Paul Dergarabedian.
The build-up included debuts on an aircraft carrier in San Diego and Cannes, where Cruise was also awarded an honorary Palme d’Or, as well as a royal premiere in London attended by Prince William and his wife Kate.
Cruise reprises his role as Maverick in the new film, in which he returns to train the next generation of pilots, which includes Miles Teller, Glen Powell, and Monica Barbaro. Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, and Val Kilmer reprise their roles from the 1986 film.
Maverick is one of the greatest pandemic-era openers, with $260 million (£206 million), Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness with $187 million (£148 million), and The Batman with $134 million (£106 million).
Maverick is notable for being the only non-superhero film on the list, and it also drew a diverse audience, with an estimated 55 percent of the audience being over 35.
Cruise will be aiming for similar success with his next Mission: Impossible films, which will be released in 2023 and 2024 and were mostly filmed in the United Kingdom.
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