TOP GUN 2 A Multiplex Maverick; $160.5M Breaks Memorial Day Weekend Records (BOX OFFICE)

TOP GUN: MAVERICK is the first Tom Cruise movie to ever post a 3-day weekend total of over $100 million.

(UPDATE: Official final weekend totals increased to $160.5 million over the 4-day Memorial Day weekend. Original estimates reported $154 million over that frame.)

Moviegoers had a need for speed.

Flying at altitudes exclusively reserved for Comic Book, Star Wars, and Dinosaur franchises, Tom Cruise blasted off to the first $100+ million three day opening of his 40-year career. The $126 million Friday-to-Sunday bank that was tallied by Top Gun: Maverick nearly doubled Cruise’s previous debut high of $64 million set by 2005’s War of the Worlds.

The long-awaited Top Gun sequel — mached by the widest North American release ever: 4,732 screens — also set a new standard for the Memorial Day weekend. By the end of Monday, it will have taken in a four-day total of $160.5 million. That tops the previous holiday champ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; the third film in that series¬†took in $153 million over the same frame fifteen years ago in 2007.

Maverick is now the 4th best three-day opener of the pandemic era. The three above it all hail from the superhero genre: MCU juggernauts Spider-Man: No Way Home ($260M) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($187M) plus DC’s The Batman ($134M)

Maverick also found the international market to be a target-rich environment. Despite not opening in China or Russia, Top Gun 2 took in $124 million overseas, bringing its 4-day worldwide total to $286M. This is the highest initial gross of any non-comic book movie in over two-and-a-half years (since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker).

Attendance were powered by older crowds, which had been lingering as the most reluctant demographic to return to movie theaters since the pandemic began. 55% of ticket-buyers were 35 or older, with numerous reports of fathers and sons sharing the experience together.

The result was a big payoff on a gamble by Paramount Pictures. Originally slated to open in the summer of 2020, Maverick was shelved in the wake of the COVID-19 along with every other major release. Even as Paramount sold off many titles to streamers at that time (including The Trial of the Chicago 7, Coming 2 America, The Tomorrow War, and more), the studio honored Cruise’s demand to hold Maverick for as long as necessary until it could be given the kind of theatrical release and run it was made for.

That commitment held true, including a last-minute bump from a previously-set date of Christmas 2021. Now it could end up being the most successful movie during the Summer 2022 season.

To cap off this box office flyby, Top Gun: Maverick¬†was given a spectacular A+ Cinemascore from audiences, the highest possible rating (natch). The last film to soar that high was Spider-Man: No Way Home. Although Maverick won’t match Spider-Man‘s $800M+ domestic haul, it should continue to do extremely well based on stratospheric word-of-mouth and repeat business.

Reigning domestic box office champ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness slipped to #2 with $16.4M ($370M total). #3 was animated newcomer The Bob’s Burgers Movie with $12.6M. Rounding out the Top 5 were Downton Abbey: A New Era at #4 ($5.9M; $28.5M total) and The Bad Guys animated action-comedy at #5 ($4.6M; $81.3M total).

Along with Top Gun: Maverick, Paramount also had two other hits in the Top 10. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 came it at #6 ($2.5M; $185.1M total) and the Sandra Bullock / Channing Tatum action rom-com The Lost City held at #8 ($1.8M; $102.2M total). For the year so far, Paramount now boasts three $100 million+ blockbusters, a major rebound (both financially and strategically) for a studio that was selling off titles and abandoning theatrical for the past two years.

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