Tom Cruise gets first $100 million opener with Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise
Top Gun: Maverick gave Tom Cruise his first $100 million opening weekend and his highest-earning opening weekend since 2005. Pic credit: © Mayhew/Landmark Media

Tom Cruise first took on the role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in 1986, just months before he turned 24, but his return to the Top Gun series for its thrilling sequel was nothing short of invigorating. The proof is in the film’s opening weekend sales, netting over $100 million.

The sequel follows Pete as he returns to Top Gun to train some of the Navy’s most talented students for a death-defying mission, while one old face has come back to haunt him in the process. While juggling his past and current choices, his mistakes, and the prospects of life and death, Tom Cruise made a thrilling comeback as Maverick.

In the first three days in North American theaters, Paramount Pictures revealed that Top Gun: Maverick earned approximately $124 million in ticket sales, with an estimated $248 million worldwide. That math is correct— over half of the sales are from North American sales alone. 

For Cruise, this is major news and another huge success to add to his career. 

Top Gun: Maverick marks Tom Cruise’s biggest opening weekend since 2005

“These results are ridiculously, over-the-top fantastic,” said Paramount’s president of domestic distribution, Chris Aronson. “I’m happy for everyone. I’m happy for the company, for Tom, for the filmmakers.” 

Yahoo! reports that Cruise’s last big weekend was in 2005 with War of the Worlds, bringing in approximately $64 million. 

Not only is this Cruise’s biggest opening weekend, but it was the fourth biggest opening of any film since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The top three include Spider-Man: No Way Home in first place, Doctor Stranger in the Multiverse of Madness in second, and The Batman coming in at number three. 

Not only was Top Gun: Maverick a massive success in North America, but Cruise was also joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the UK premiere of the film. 

In preparation for the new film’s release, fans watched the original Top Gun from 1986— proven by its rise on the charts when it topped last Wednesday’s weekly UK film chart. 

The commercial director of the Official Charts Company Becca Monahan said that it was “fantastic to see Tom Cruise back in the skies again after 36 years,” before adding, “That the original Top Gun has made history by getting to number one on the Official Film Chart and that many of those sales were digital downloads is a great achievement.” 

Critics praise Top Gun: Maverick

Critics have called Top Gun: Maverick a “barrier-breaking sequel,” “as thrilling as blockbusters get,” and a “true legacy sequel.” 

Others noted that it is “absurd, exciting” and “unquestionably the best studio action film in years.” 

Pete Debruge noted, “Hardly anything in Top Gun: Maverick will surprise you, except how well it does nearly all the things audiences want and expect it to do.”

The cast includes Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connolly, Jon Hamm, Monica Barbaro, Danny Ramirez, Val Kilmer, Ed Harris, Miles Teller, and Glen Powell. 

Top Gun: Maverick is now out in theaters. 

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