Fans of “Top Gun” have waited 36 years for a sequel. Paramount Studios and Tom Cruise finally delivered this summer’s “Top Gun: Maverick”. Cruise is back playing the role of Air Force ace Pete “Maverick”, Mitchell. His co-star Val Kilmer plays Admiral Tom “Iceman”. Miles Teller and Monica Barbaro are all new to Jerry Bruckheimer’s world of top-tier fighter pilots. Jay Ellis, Glen Powell. Danny Ramirez. Jon Hamm. Jennifer Connelly plays Penny Benjamin. She is Kelly McGillis’s Charlie, Maverick’s love interest. The riveting trailers for “Top Gun: Maverick 2” reveal that Maverick is back in action to train new pilots in order to bomb an Eastern European uranium enrichment plant.
“Top Gun: Maverick” has been criticized by critics, with many pointing out that it is a better film than the original. The sequel received 97% ratings from critics and 99% ratings from Rotten Tomatoes audiences as of Sunday, May 29. Mark Kermode, The Guardian’s film critic, wrote that “Top Gun: Maverick” offers the type of cinematic spectacle that reminds viewers why going to the cinema is better than watching Netflix. David Sims, a film critic at The Atlantic, said that “Maverick” is a standalone blockbuster that aims to seduce viewers with its thunderous sound and hellacious flight photography. It’s exactly what every cineplex in America has been begging for.”
The latest projections and box office numbers point to “Top Gun: Maverick,” which is expected to break records in its first weekend.
Top Gun: Maverick could break a box-office record
According to The Hollywood Reporter “Top Gun: Maverick,” is expected to make $151 million domestically over the four-day Memorial Day weekend. It would be $2 million less than the record for the biggest holiday weekend opening, which is 2007’s “Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End”. It’s possible that “Maverick”, which has a domestic total of $151 million, could be the Memorial Day weekend’s biggest opening, given Box Office Mojo’s update of the “Top Gun Maverick” page.
The Numbers reports that “Top Gun: Maverick’s” three-day earnings of $124 million were almost 10 times higher than the gross box office of “The Bob’s Burgers Movie,” this weekend’s second most profitable release. Cinemascore gave “Top Gun” an A+ grade. This is a specialized polling technique that gathers audience opinions during opening nights. It was the first movie to achieve the mark since “American Underdog” in 2021 (via /Film), and it is also one of the 57 titles that have done so since 2000, according to The Wrap.
Two years delayed release of the film due to COVID-19. Although theater audiences are still far behind pre-pandemic numbers (via Box Office Mojo), some industry leaders have been encouraged by the movie’s spectacular opening weekend. Rich Gelfond, CEO of IMAX, released a hopeful statement stating that “This movie heralds a return to the summer blockbuster” and was “a catalyst for increasing demand for moviegoing like an F-18 breaking through the sound barrier” (via Deadline).
Cruise achieves a career milestone with Top Gun: Maverick’s opening weekend
The domestic box office record for “Top Gun: Maverick”, which was released on March 3, sets a new benchmark for Tom Cruise films. This A-lister is experiencing a career first when it comes to opening weekend take with “Maverick,” which earned more than $100 million domestically. “War of the Worlds” was the previous highest-earning opener, earning $64.9 million domestically in 2005 (via Box Office Mojo). The “Top Gun: Maverick”, which earned $180 million in the U.S. box-office earnings, ranked 15th on Cruise’s impressive list. It also includes “Top Gun: The Original” and five “Mission: Impossible” films. Cruise’s top-grossing film “War of the Worlds”, with its $234 domestic total gross, is certainly within reach of “Top Gun: Maverick,” given its outstanding opening weekend.
Den of Geek’s David Crow credits Cruise’s star power for driving the film’s strong box office results. Crow wrote that Cruise’s Maverick wasn’t just returning to carry the torch; he was there to show that Mav can be trusted more in the cockpit than anyone, even though he’s 60. Crow wrote that Cruise’s screen persona shows that he is worthy of such a following, as he has taken the concept of “Top Gun” so far as it was in ’86.
Entertainment Weekly was told by Joseph Kosinski, director of “Top Gun”, that he is open to the possibility of a third film. He said, “It’s all a story for Tom.” “If we can find a way to tell Maverick what’s up next, who knows? Although the idea of Cruise, 95 years old, returning to fighter jet maneuvers to test his body would be appealing to some fans it would not appeal to all. Most people would appreciate not having to wait 36 years for the next “Top Gun.” movie.