Top Gun 2: Soars to Record $156M Opening–Tom Cruise’s All-Time Best

‘Top Gun 2’ Soars to Record $156M Opening

The sequel — earning a coveted A+ CinemaScore — scored the biggest opening of Cruise’s career, domestically and overseas.

In promising sign for the summer season, Paramount and Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick scored the second-best Memorial Day opening of all time with a projected three-day domestic haul of $124 million and $156 million for the four days.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End remains the record holder for now with $156 million, according to Disney.

Maverick‘s launch is without a doubt a career best for Tom Cruise: It is the first time he has had a film open to $100 million or more.


Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete Maverick Mitchell in Top Gun Maverick.

Top Gun 2 started off with a massive $51.8 million on Friday — including $19.3 million in previews — as it opened in more than 4,700 theaters in North America.

Overseas, Top Gun 2 is doing equally impressive business, considering it isn’t playing in either China or Russia. The film opened to $124 million from 62 markets for early global haul of $248 million through Sunday.

The release of the long-awaited sequel to the iconic 1986 movie is a defining moment for box office recovery, which so far has been largely fueled by superhero fare propped up by males ages 18 to 34.

More than 70 percent of Top Gun 2‘s  audience was over the age of 25, including 55 percent over age 35, 38 percent over 45 and 18 percent over 55.

Ticket buyers bestowed the film with glowing A+ CinemaScore. And Imax and premium-format screens turned in a whopping 37 percent of the gross. Imax alone turned in a four-day Memorial Day record gross of $32.5 million, including $21 million in North America.

Heading into the holiday weekend, Paramount tried to temper expectations, since tracking showed the film opening to $92 million-plus. Yet many pundits believe the critically acclaimed sequel could soar well north of $100 million domestically. But tracking — one of Hollywood’s favorite pastimes — has become fraught in the pandemic era. Exhibitors were especially bullish on the pic and were already thinking it could hit $125 million to $150 million.

The film’s release was delayed for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cruise, a relentless promoter, went on a global marketing tour in recent weeks that saw him make stops at world premiere in San Diego, Cannes Fest, Royal-sponsored screening in London and another premiere in Japan.

Cruise may be one of the world’s biggest movie stars, but his films — including the Mission: Impossible movies — have never scored the mega-openings that superhero tentpoles or other franchise installments can enjoy (Jurassic World or Fast & Furious).

To date, 2005’s War of the Worlds ranks as Cruise’s top domestic opening with a three-day gross of $64.9 million, followed by 2018’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout at $61.2 million, according to Comscore and not adjusted for inflation. The rest of his films have opened to less than $60 million.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick sees Cruise return as the ultra-gifted and confident Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

The film presently has stellar 97 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.

It co-stars Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell and Ed Harris, while Val Kilmer makes brief appearance as “Iceman,” Maverick’s onetime nemesis-turned-pal.

The film also features Lady Gaga’s ballad “Hold My Hand,” while the producing team includes Jerry Bruckheimer, who guided the 1986 film.