Top Gun: Maverick has already broken several records at the box office, with the sequel film expected to break even more during its theatrical window.
Top Gun: Maverick has soared at the box office to break several incredible records, including a few personal feats for actor Tom Cruise. After originally being slated for a July 2019 release date, Top Gun 2 was delayed several more times throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, eventually settling on a Memorial Day weekend 2022 premiere. In hindsight, Paramount couldn’t have made a better choice with its release window, as Top Gun 2 is now bringing the studio back to life at the box office amid fierce competition from Disney and Warner Brothers’ superhero franchises.
Before Top Gun 2, virtually the only movies that were guaranteed to succeed at the box office during the pandemic were those in the superhero genre or established franchises. While The Northman, West Side Story, and The Last Duel bombed at the box office, movies like Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Batman, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness excelled. As a legacy sequel whose cult classic original debuted 36 years prior, Top Gun: Maverick wasn’t expected to give Marvel a run for its money, but it now stands as the most likely frontrunner to be the first 2022 movie to reach $1 billion at the box office.
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Alongside far more positive reviews from critics, Top Gun: Maverick has already massively outperformed the original 1986 Top Gun by doubling its box office gross. After three weekends in theaters, Top Gun 2 has grossed over $747 million at the worldwide box office. Top Gun: Maverick is now the third-highest-grossing 2022 movie worldwide, falling short of only The Batman and Doctor Strange 2. With Top Gun: Maverick still expected to enjoy a long theatrical window, the many box office records that the film has already broken are on course to be joined by a few more.
Top Gun: Maverick’s Box Office Was Tom Cruise’s Biggest Opening Weekend Ever
While the Pete “Maverick” Mitchell actor has been a hit in theaters since the 1980s, the box office success of 2022’s Top Gun 2 marks Tom Cruise’s biggest opening weekend of all time. The opening weekend for Top Gun: Maverick saw a box office gross of $126.7 million in its first three days, which was boosted up to $160.5 million after four days in the long weekend. This incredible performance smashed Tom Cruise’s previous opening weekend box office record, which was held by Mission: Impossible – Fallout with $61.5 million. Top Gun: Maverick also became Tom Cruise’s first movie to premiere with a box office gross of over $100 million, undoubtedly being recorded as his biggest opening weekend in history. When considering Top Gun 2’s steady theatrical performance in the following weekends, the sequel is on track to earn another Tom Cruise record by becoming the actor’s first movie to surpass $1 billion at the box office.
Top Gun: Maverick Had The Highest-Grossing Memorial Day Weekend Opening
In addition to giving Tom Cruise his biggest premiere, Top Gun: Maverick recorded the highest-grossing Memorial Day weekend box office opening of all time. The previous record for the four-day holiday weekend was held by Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which earned $153 million back in 2007. Top Gun 2’s $160.5 million just barely surpassed this Memorial Day weekend record but proved how incredible word of mouth was for the 2022 film over the long weekend. However, Paramount’s box office crown could revert back to Disney shortly, as the live-action The Little Mermaid is set to premiere on Memorial Day weekend, 2023.
Top Gun 2 Had The Smallest Box Office Drop For Any $100+ Million Movie
The positive word of mouth and rave reviews for Top Gun 2 did wonders for the legacy sequel’s continued box office success, as its second weekend marked an impressive feat that even the MCU hasn’t come close to achieving. Top Gun: Maverick’s second-weekend box office drop was only 29%, the smallest fall for any movie to open at over $100 million. For comparison, the lowest second-weekend box office drop for any MCU movie with a $100 million opening was recorded by Black Panther with a 45% decrease. While Top Gun 2 was finally unseated as number one at the box office by Jurassic World Dominion on the weekend of June 10, the legacy sequel still earned another $50 million domestically in its third weekend for a 44% drop (via Forbes).
Top Gun 2 Is Tom Cruise’s Highest-Grossing Domestic Box Office Of All Time
Without being adjusted for inflation, Top Gun: Maverick is Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing domestic box office of all time, which is made all the more impressive as it comes after only three weekends. Top Gun 2 has now grossed $393 million at the domestic box office, with the actor’s previous record-holder in this category being 2005’s War of the Worlds for a $234 million domestic haul. Coming close to this was Mission: Impossible – Fallout with $220 million at the domestic box office, with the 2018 action film’s international gross being over twice as much.
Top Gun: Maverick is seeing one of the most outstanding domestic box office performances of the entire pandemic, with the legacy sequel only standing behind Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as the second-highest-grossing movie at the domestic box office of 2022. In 2021, the only film to cross $300 million at the domestic box office was Spider-Man: No Way Home, which accumulated a gross of $804 million on the homefront before exiting theaters. At the time of writing, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has earned $397 million at the domestic box office, which Top Gun 2 is expected to surpass with ease in the coming week. As such, Top Gun: Maverick will likely become the number one movie at the 2022 domestic box office, although it will have fierce competition later this summer with the likes of Thor: Love and Thunder.
Top Gun 2 Is Paramount’s Highest-Grossing Pandemic-Era Movie
Whereas Disney has succeeded beyond doubt during the pandemic, other studios have struggled to perform well at the box office without massive franchise installments to rely on. Many of Paramount’s pandemic-era movies have moved to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Paramount +, but the studio has saved a few key projects to launch in theaters. At $747 million, Top Gun: Maverick is Paramount’s highest-grossing movie during the pandemic, which was declared all the way back in March 2020. The studio has had a few successes since 2020 with movies like Scream 5 ($140 million), The Lost City ($187 million), and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ($397.6 million), but none have come close to the worldwide earnings of Top Gun 2. The massive box office performance of Top Gun: Maverick is also setting the stage for Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible sequels in 2023 and 2024, which are expected to join the top of the list for Paramount’s highest-grossing movies of the pandemic era.
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About The Author
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Jordan Williams is a Movie/TV Feature Senior Staff Writer for Screen Rant. She graduated from the University of Oregon in 2020 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Media Studies.
Jordan is based in Seattle, Washington and enjoys exploring the natural beauty the PNW has to offer. She runs on coffee and classic movies, taking pride in having watched every film on AFI’s 100 Greatest Films list and every Best Picture Oscar winner.
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