Much was made of The Suicide Squad giving Sylvester Stallone the unique distinction of having a movie open at the top of the domestic box office in every decade since the 1970s, but Tom Cruise and Top Gun: Maverick have ensured in spectacular style that the longtime A-lister won’t be too far behind Sly’s six-decade streak.
What arguably makes it even more impressive is that Cruise has reigned as one of the industry’s biggest stars for the entirety of that duration, whereas it’d be more than fair to say Rocky and Rambo legend Stallone has endured his fair share of ups and downs during his lengthy stint in the spotlight.
We already knew that Maverick was on course to score the biggest opening weekend of Cruise’s career, and potentially his first $100 million debut, but after clocking in excess of $19 million from Thursday previews, that could be just one of many benchmarks to fall at the feet of Joseph Kosinski’s airborne sequel.
Not only is that number the highest preview gross in the history of Paramount Pictures, but it’s also the largest Memorial Day preview haul of all-time full stop, shattering a record that had stood for 13 years since Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen netted $16 million back in 2009.
Cruise’s top-earning three-day opening was set by War of the Worlds in 2005, so Top Gun: Maverick is shaping up to decimate the actor and producer’s longstanding personal bests, which it fully deserves given its status as one of the year’s finest features.