Top Gun: Maverick: Blockbuster Flies With $19.3 Million on Previews

Top Gun Maverick
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Tom Cruise’s blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick has begun its box office flight, taking in $19.3 million on Thursday.

The large Thursday haul marks the biggest preview for Paramount Pictures and the highest preview for the Memorial Day holiday. Of the $19.3 million, Imax screens accounted for $4.1 million, or 21.2% of the overall amount. The figure sets a best-ever mark for a Paramount title and a Tom Cruise movie, and it’s in the top 10 Imax results of all time.

The long-delayed sequel to 1986’s “Top Gun” could become the first movie of Cruise’s career to open to $100 million. Thanks to positive reviews, high anticipation and heaps of nostalgia, “Top Gun: Maverick,” co-produced and co-financed by Skydance, is projected to rake in $85 million to $100 million over the long Memorial Day weekend.

Paramount was originally supposed to open “Top Gun: Maverick” in the summer of 2020, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans and scrambled its takeoff. Two years later, the tentpole finally premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where crowds of movie-lovers lined up to see the star in action. During a wide-ranging discussion about his career at the festival, Cruise assured fans that “Maverick” was meant for the big screen. Unlike so many other big-budget films that were scheduled to release during the pandemic, Cruise says his follow-up to “Top Gun” was never going to debut on streaming.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with theater owners. The people that serve the popcorn, the ones who make this [happen],” he said. He also called theater owners to say, “Please, I know what you’re going through. Just know we are making ‘Mission: Impossible,’ and ‘Top Gun’ is coming out.”

Simply put: “I make movies for the big screen,” Cruise said.