Having originally been scheduled for release in July of 2019, nobody would have been too taken aback were Top Gun: Maverick to perform admirably at the box office without setting the world alight, especially when we’re talking about the follow-up to a movie that was released 36 years ago, when the largest demographic of cinemagoers weren’t even born.
However, not only is Tom Cruise’s return to the cockpit exceeding every expectation, it’s on track to land the single highest-grossing Memorial Day debut of all-time, an astonishing feat for a pandemic-era release, never mind a legacy sequel. Joseph Kosinsk’s airborne extravaganza was always going to top the charts, but the latest numbers are nothing short of mind-blowing.
Earlier this week, projections had Maverick in with a shot of reaching $100 million across the four-day frame, which would comfortably be the biggest debut of Cruise’s illustrious career, on top of giving him a chart-topping star vehicle in every decade since the 1980s. As it turned out, the predictions were way off the mark.
As things stand, Maverick is on course to surpass the $139 million hauled in by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End 15 years ago, and the $152 million that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull earned back in 2008 over five days, to become Memorial Day’s top-grossing debutant ever.
When you factor in a 97 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, 99 percent user rating, and A+ CinemaScore, then Top Gun: Maverick could drum up huge repeat business over the coming weeks, too, especially when it’s effectively got a stranglehold on the blockbuster market until Jurassic World Dominion comes along on June 10.