‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Soars Past One of Disney’s Most Successful Movies in Record-Breaking Box Office Opening

by Emily Morgan

Since hitting theaters, Top Gun: Maverick has been breaking box office records. The movie soared to new heights when its numbers beat the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie over the weekend. 

As it turns out, Tom Cruise’s new sequel to Top Gun brought in a whopping $160.5 million over the weekend. In contrast, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End raked in $153 million in 2007, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

For Tom Cruise, this marks a significant milestone in his acting career as this is the first time he’s had a movie opening exceed $100 million. On Monday, outlets initially reported that the box office number was $156 million, and on Sunday, Top Gun was said to be at $151 million.

Ahead of the weekend, the film based on the 1986 Top Gun, was off to a remarkable $51.8 million start. Moviegoers gave the action-packed film an A+ on CinemaScore. More than 70% of the audience was over 25, and 55% of viewers were over 35.

Although Cruise is known for having decades of acting under his belt, he’d never had such a remarkable opening. The closest he got was War of the Worlds in 2005. The Spielberg-directed sci-fi film grossed $64.9 million during its opening weekend. 

In addition, Mission: Impossible Fallout earned $61.2 million in 2018, but all other Cruise films have opened with less than $60 million. According to Cruise, the new Top Gun would “never” debut on a streaming platform despite many production companies opting to do so because of the pandemic. 

Tom Cruise on Top Gun sequel debuting on streaming platforms: ‘never going to happen’

When reporters asked the seasoned actor if he felt pressure to release the film for streaming, Cruise confirmed that it would “never happen.” “That was not going to happen ever,” Cruise said while chuckling. “That was never going to happen.”

Despite various setbacks when nailing down a release date, Crusie remained strong. He even called each cast member every time the Top Gun’s release date was rescheduled. He wanted to reassure everyone to stay calm. 

“Don’t worry, this is going to happen,” he would tell his co-stars. Just days before the shutdown in the spring of 2020, Paramount moved the release up two days early, slated for June 24, 2020. However, the pandemic pushed it back to Dec. 23 of that year. 

Then, it continued to get moved. In July 2020, the film received yet another schedule change. Paramount would alter the release by one year due to the pandemic, Cruise’s schedule, and Mulan and Tenet being released on the same day.

The scheduling dilemma continued when the film was further delayed to April 2021. Then it was moved to a November release, and again in September 2021. Finally, the studio landed on the May 27, 2022, release date.