Nothing short of astonishment swept across Hollywood over the June 3-5 weekend when Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick dropped a mere 29 percent from its Memorial Day launch thanks to spectacular word of mouth.
That’s the lowest decline in history for a movie opening to $100 million or more, and a slim decline for any movie, according to Comscore. A decline of 50 percent would have been considered excellent, or even 55 percent. The bigger a Hollywood tentpole opens, the more inclined it is to drop 60 percent or more.
Take Marvel and Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which in its fifth weekend on Sunday became the first film of 2022 to cross the $900 million mark at the worldwide box office despite falling 67 percent in its sophomore outing.
So what does this all mean? For the first time in his four-decade career, Tom Cruise, 59, has a movie that has a real shot at joining the billion-dollar club at the global box office. At the very least, it will ultimately become his highest-grossing film, not adjusted for inflation. And the $170 million film is already a profit-maker for the studio.
In its first 10 days, Paramount and Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick — fueled by moviegoers of all ages and a coveted A+ CinemaScore — has earned an estimated $295.6 million in North America and $261.6 million for a global total of $557.2 million.
“To have this kind of success at this point in his career is amazing,” says a rival studio executive.
Box office sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Top Gun 2 is destined to gross north of $900 million globally, including $500 million or more in North America. They say the only reason it may not get to $1 billion is the absence of a China and Russia release.
Cruise’s biggest film worldwide is Mission: Impossible — Fallout, which collected $571.5 million overseas for a worldwide total of $791 million in 2018. Top Gun 2 will also pass up 2011’s Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol ($694.7 million), 2015’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation ($682.7 million) and 2005’s The War of the Worlds ($603 million).
On Saturday, Top Gun: Maverick became Cruise’s top-grossing film domestically when it passed up War of the Worlds ($243.3 million). That’s after zooming past the first Top Gun ($180.3 million) and Mission: Impossible — Fallout ($220.2 million). Internationally, Top Gun: Maverick is already well ahead of the $176 million earned by the first Top Gun.
Top Gun: Maverick could prove a huge boost for the next Mission: Impossible movie, Dead Reckoning, Part One. Paramount and Skydance open the film on July 14, 2023. “Top Gun 2 has introduced a whole new generation to Tom Cruise,” says the source. It’s a wise observation.