Maverick Could Be Tom Cruise’s First $100 Million Opening Weekend


Tom Cruise in “Top Gun: Maverick”

Source: Paramount

This weekend, Tom Cruise has the chance to do something he’s never done before: open a movie to over $100 million at the domestic box office.

The prolific actor, who made a name for himself as a fearless stuntman, has grossed more than $4.2 billion at the domestic box office since 1981, but has never had a film open to more than $65 million. of dollars.

After several pandemic-related delays, Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” hits theaters this weekend with a 97% “Fresh” rating from Rotten Tomatoes and good pre-sale tickets.

“At this point, I see very little reason not to expect a domestic opening weekend well over $100 million, a mark the film will likely reach in its first three days,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “We’re not just talking about a new career best for Mr. Cruise, but potentially some Memorial Day weekend records that could go down.”

Robbins noted that there was a lot of pent-up demand for “Top Gun: Maverick”. Not only has it been delayed multiple times due to Covid, but strong word of mouth from critics has sparked renewed interest in the sequel to the 1986 original, a touchstone of pop culture.

Box office analysts are currently predicting a domestic opening of between $98 million and $125 million for the film.

Even though the film may not reach $100 million, it is still expected to become Cruise’s highest-grossing opening weekend domestically. Its current record is 2005’s “War of the Worlds,” which raked in $64.8 million, according to Comscore data.

“We can mostly attribute this odd factoid to the reality that Tom Cruise has rarely tied himself to successful franchises commanding front-loading debuts,” Robbins said. “The majority of his films are built around star power and word of mouth generating long legs at the box office in a way that is no longer at the forefront of the industry mindset. “

Robbins added that Cruise doesn’t often do sequels to movies. The exception being the Mission: Impossible franchise and a second Jack Reacher film in 2016. “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”, released in 2018, is Cruise’s highest-grossing film, grossing $220 million domestically and $791.1 million worldwide. “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” is due out next year.

Additionally, box office debuts of $100 million have only become commonplace in the past decade as ticket prices have risen dramatically and fan-focused franchises like Marvel and DC have spurred moviegoers to turn up in droves on opening weekend. This year alone, as the movie industry tries to get its legs back after two years of pandemic restrictions, Warner Bros. Disney’s “The Batman” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” opened to over $100 million.

Cruise’s box office legacy is all about longevity, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

“As one of the few stars to have built a career on the long-term playability of his films, Cruise changed the rules by not chasing the coveted $100 million opening weekend, but rather the overall drawing power of his films over the long term,” he said.

“To that end, he has spent the past decade collaborating with major creative partners to produce some of the most entertaining films ever released on the multiplex,” Dergarabedian added.

Almost half of Cruise’s 43 films have grossed over $100 million in total during their domestic box office runs. His films have generated more than $10.3 billion in worldwide ticket sales over the past four decades.

“As a film producer, Cruise understands the practical dynamics of strong box office results, but he’s also plugged into the emotional connection fans have with the visceral, cinematic power that only big-screen movies can deliver. especially for his action movies,” Dergarabedian said.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Rotten Tomatoes.


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