Hollywood star Tom Cruise is set to enter the $100 million opening club as his latest release 'Top Gun: Maverick', the legacy sequel to Tony Scott's swoony 1986 original, which is playing across 4,735 locations in the US, is projected to earn $150 million over the holiday weekend, reports 'Variety'.
On a three-day scale, Paramount studio is predicting a $123 million haul. That makes it a new record debut for Cruise, whose previous best the 2005 release 'War of the Worlds' rests at a $64.8 million opening.
As per 'Variety', the film kicked off with a bang, drawing a $51.8 million opening day. That's a record for Paramount Pictures, outdoing the $51.2 million opening day of 2010's 'Iron Man 2'. 'Top Gun: Maverick' was originally set to premiere way back in the summer of 2020, setting its release date long before COVID-19 had entered the vernacular of the public.
As the pandemic caused studios to overhaul theatrical schedules, many major releases found new homes on streaming services. Paramount sold films like Aaron Sorkin's eventual Oscar contender 'The Trial of the Chicago 7' and Michael B. Jordan actioner 'Without Remorse' to streamers, ending up on Netflix and Amazon, respectively.
But 'Maverick' wasn't for sale, a decision Cruise has affirmed he was adamant on. 'Variety' further states that after sitting tight for two years, Paramount's egg is now hatching into a golden goose. For the film, Cruise reunited with 'Oblivion' director Joseph Kosinski for 'Top Gun: Maverick'. Val Kilmer reprises his role as rival "Iceman" for the sequel, while Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm and Ed Harris also star.
If projections for 'Maverick' continue to expand, the film could become the best Memorial Day opening of all time, potentially unseating the $153 million debut of Disney's 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End' in 2007. With word-of-mouth and a holiday weekend ahead, there is still plenty of room for 'Maverick' to grow.