FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE: Top Gun: Maverick at this Friday night hour is on its way to a $51M Opening day (which includes $19.3M previews). It would not be shocking to wake up on Saturday morning and see that the sequel has edged out Iron Man 2 ($51.2M) to become Paramount’s top opening day ever. Already, the sequel is Tom Cruise’s best opening day ever in U.S./Canada besting Mission: Impossible – Fallout‘s first day of $22.8M by 124%.
Three day now for the Paramount-Skydance co-financed movie is $120M, still second best for Paramount after Iron Man 2‘s $128.1M. Four day now stands at $146.2M, which is arguably the third best opening for Memorial Day after Disney’s 2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($153M) and Paramount’s 2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($151.95M, Thursday-Monday). Now earlier today we incorrectly reported that Top Gun 2 was bound for a Memorial Day record as we were going off of Box Office Mojo figures. Turns out Mojo use to back out Thursday night previews; so At World’s End did a pure $139.8M over 4-days, but with Thursday previews of $13.2M, has a Memorial Day frame opening of $153M. Meanwhile, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull had a hard Thursday opening of $25M on May 22, 2008. If any Memorial Day record is going to be cleared by Top Gun 2, it needs to clear $153M. No one is seeing that as of yet, and it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. On its preview night we heard the latest by Cruise was playing strong all over the country including Salt Lake City, Denver, Orlando, San Francisco, the list went on and on. It’s not just big cities, but the flyover states as well.
Here’s how the top 5 chart is looking; based on industry estimates:
1.) Top Gun: Maverick (Par) 4,735 theaters Fri $51M, 3-day $120M, 4-day $146.2M/Wk 1
2.) Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Dis) 3,805 theaters (-729), Fri $4.4M (-48%), 3 day $17M (-47%), 4 day $21.8M, total $376.1M, /Wk 4
3.) The Bob’s Burgers Movie (20th/Dis) 3,425 theaters, Fri $5.5M, 3-day $14.7M, 4-day $18.1M/Wk 1
4.) Downton Abbey: A New Era (Foc) 3,830 theaters (+10), Fri $1.7M (-77%), 3-day $6M (-63%), 4-day $7.7M, total $30.2M/Wk 2
5.) The Bad Guys (Uni) 2944 theaters (-761), Fri $1.2M (-18%), 3-day $4.8M (-22%), 4-day $6.4M, total $83.1M/Wk 6
FRIDAY MIDDAY UPDATE: Corrected It’s looking like the second best opening for Memorial Day weekend as Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick is set to earn $142.4M over four days, which would put it third after Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which did
$139.8M a 4-day of $153M (The previous number recorded by Box Office Mojo didn’t include previews in the 4-day) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at $151.95M (technically a 5-day opener since the movie opened on Thursday, but we’ve been rolling Thursday previews into Friday numbers). Friday for the Tom Cruise sequel is looking like $50M with an estimated 3-day of $117M. That would make Top Gun: Maverick the second-biggest opener for Paramount after Iron Man 2 per Mojo, that pic debuting to $128.1M in 2010, and ahead of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($100.1M in 2008). Top Gun 2 is also the second-biggest opening day for a Paramount title after Iron Man 2‘s $51.1M.
Look, even if these numbers recede, this is far and away — no pun intended, Mr. Cruise — the biggest opening for the three-time Oscar nominated, nearly 60-year-old blockbuster star. See, industry? It certainly paid off for some studios to hold their movies during the pandemic until cinemas reopened.
When asked during his masterclass at Cannes whether straight-to-streaming was an option for the Skydance co-financed movie, Cruise said, “No, that’s not going to happen ever,” which triggered great applause. “That was never going to happen.”
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Cannes Premiere Gets 5-Minute Standing Ovation; Tom Cruise Receives Honorary Palme d’Or As Fighter Jets Decorate Sky –
FRIDAY AM UPDATE: After a 36-year wait, the Tom Cruise sequel Top Gun: Maverick finally took off to a massive $19.3 million in previews from Thursday 3 p.m. showtimes and a one-time 7 p.m. Tuesday fan event.
That’s the highest-grossing preview in Paramount Pictures history, the highest-grossing Memorial Day preview in history, and of course it’s the best for Cruise. Early projections heading into the weekend were $80M-$100M over four days, and a high-octane start such as this easily could propel Top Gun: Maverick to the best Memorial Day weekend opening ever, besting the $153M four-day total (that includes previews) of 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Note that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opened on a Thursday and grossed $25M on its first day (which included midnight shows of $4.2M).
Without a question Top Gun: Maverick also is looking to be the best opening of Cruise’s career, easily leaving behind his 2005 three-day cume of War of the Worlds, which was $64.8M.
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Everything is working in Top Gun 2‘s favor: It’s the widest release ever at 4,735 theaters and has 5 out of 5 stars on ComScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak, with a 96% positive and an enormous 84% definite recommend. PLFs (31%) and Imax (21%) combined repped 52% of preview ticket sales. Imax alone counted $4.1M in previews, the best ever for the exhibitor with a Paramount title, a Cruise movie and a top 10 all-time Imax result as well.
Also juicing bucks for Top Gun 2 is a 97% Certified Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes after a month’s worth of buzzy global premieres and a current audience score on RT of an amazing 99%.
The previous big preview for Paramount was 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with $16M, which was on a Tuesday and resulted in a $62M Wednesday (previews repped 25% of that figure). Best Thursday previews for a movie opening over Memorial Day weekend actually belongs to Disney’s Star Wars: A Solo Story which saw $14.1M, but only repped 40% of its first Friday’s $35.3M. That movie was panned by fans and yet resulted in a $103M four-day holiday opening.
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ World Premiere Photos: Tom Cruise Pilots Helicopter Onto Deck Of Aircraft Carrier For Massive Red Carpet Event
Thursday previews began at 3 p.m. for the Paramount/Skydance feature. In addition, there was also a “Top Gun Tuesday” with premium large-format, Imax, and Dolby screens opening their curtains at 7 p.m. for one show only. We hear the majority of the sequel’s preview cash was made Thursday.
Top Gun: Maverick blows away Cruise’s previous Thursday preview record, that being 2018’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which earned $6M.
Top Gun: Maverick means a little something extra to exhibition and studios overall: Outside of older guys attending, which Cruise always attracts (Fallout pulled in 41% men over 25), the hope is that this sequel plays wide, from under-25 to female Cruise fans who hung his posters in their bedrooms and lockers during the 1980s. Thursday night saw unweighted a turnout of 57% guys to 43% women. Fallout‘s Thursday night repped 26% of its first-day Friday of $22.8M before going on to make $61.2M.
Elsewhere on Thursday night, 20th Century Studios/Disney’s The Bob’s Burgers Movie saw $1.5M in previews from shows that began at 5 p.m. The pic is 86% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a current audience score of 96%. A $10M-$14M four-day launch is expected at 3,425 U.S.-Canada locations. Next to other previews, Sing 2 did $1.6M on its Tuesday early shows, Encanto did $1.5M on Tuesday previews — both in 2021 — while The Bad Guys did $1.2M on the Thursday night before its Friday opening last month.
Among regular ranked movies Thursday, Disney/Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness earned $2.4M at 4,534 theaters, off 14% from Wednesday for a running three-week total of $354.4M.
Focus Features’ Downton Abbey: A New Era was second with $1.3M, down 11% from Wednesday for a first-week take of $22.6M at 3,820 locations.
Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys was third with $576,000, +1%, at 3,705 venues and a running five-week total of $76.7M.
A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once booked at 1,576 posted a ninth Thursday of $426K, -16%, and a running cume of $54.3M.
Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 drew around $330K, -4%, at 2,943 for a seven-week running total of $182.6M.