Following a headline-grabbing worldwide promotional campaign that would see a tenacious Tom Cruise transform into the performer of the moment as he made stops at an official launch in San Diego, the Cannes Film Festival, a Royal-sponsored screening in London, and yet another premiere in Japan, Top Gun: Maverick is finally flying into theaters over Memorial Day weekend.
The long-awaited sequel to the legendary 1986 film is set to be a watershed event in the box office revival, which has been powered mostly by superhero entertainment thus far.
According to official tracking, Top Gun 2 is on course to be the largest domestic opening of Tom Cruise‘s career, with a four-day total of at least $92 million. That’s just a modest estimate, by the way. Many industry insiders anticipate the highly praised sequel will gross well over $100 million in the United States, but tracking — one of Hollywood’s favorite games — has become dangerous in the post-pandemic world. Exhibitors are particularly enthusiastic about the film, forecasting a gross of $125 million or more.
Part of the issue, in this case, is that there’s no way of predicting if elderly moviegoers would put their reservations aside and rush out to watch the $170 million-plus film on its opening weekend. While Top Gun: Maverick aims to appeal to a younger audience, it is still a sequel to a film that was released 36 years ago.
Cruise may be one of the most well-known actors in the world, but his films — notably the Mission: Impossible franchise — have never had the kind of massive premieres that superhero pictures or other franchise entries have (like Jurassic World or Fast & Furious). His films, on the other hand, can go on and on.
According to Comscore and not adjusted for inflation, Cruise‘s greatest domestic opening is 2005’s War of the Worlds, with a three-day gross of $64.9 million, followed by 2018’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout with a three-day total of $61.2 million. The remainder of his films has grossed less than $60 million at the box office.