×

Holy Smokes! ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Flies Higher Than Expected With $90 Million in Second Weekend

top gun maverick
Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Tom Cruise’s star-spangled blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick” soared higher than expected in its second weekend of release.

The Paramount and Skydance movie collected $90 million over the weekend, above Sunday’s already massive estimate of $86 million. Thanks to positive word of mouth, rapturous reviews and premium screens, ticket sales declined only 29% in its second weekend — the lowest percentage in history for a movie that debuted to $100 million or more, according to Comscore. “Top Gun: Maverick” launched to a staggering $160 million over the long Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Though a peculiar statistic, the scant second-weekend drop is impressive because big-budget blockbusters — even well-received ones — tend to plummet by at least 50% after scoring huge opening weekends. By comparison, recent tentpoles “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” each declined 67% in their sophomore outings, while Robert Pattinson’s “The Batman” fell 50% in week two.

After only 10 days in theaters, “Top Gun: Maverick” has grossed $295 million at the domestic box office, enough to overtake 2005’s “War of the Worlds” ($243 million) as Cruise’s highest-grossing film in North America. Pandemic or not, it is a stunning result — and ticket sales will certainly keep climbing — for a movie that doesn’t involve costumed heroes, otherworldly creatures or fantastical spells.

Internationally, the sequel to 1986’s “Top Gun” has earned $231 million, taking its global total past the $550 million mark. Even by pre-COVID standards, the $170 million-budgeted “Maverick” is putting box office expectations to shame with its high-flying turnout in theaters.

At this rate, “Top Gun: Maverick” looks like it’ll become Cruise’s biggest movie at the global box office. “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” which collected $791 million worldwide in 2018, currently stands as the actor’s highest-grossing blockbuster of all time. His other top-earning tentpoles include 2011’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” ($695 million globally), 2015’s “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” ($683 million globally) and “War of the Worlds” ($603 million globally).

As long as “Top Gun: Maverick” is able to sustain its popularity over the summer (and why wouldn’t it?), analysts believe box office returns could surpass $900 million by the end of its theatrical run. Could the $1 billion mark be within reach? It’ll be harder without playing in China or Russia. But, according to industry insiders, it’s not out of the question.

“It has never been more appropriate to say ‘the sky’s the limit’ for ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’” Paramount’s president of domestic distribution Chris Aronson wrote on Sunday in a note to press.

Joseph Kosinski directed “Top Gun: Maverick,” which has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and holds an “A+” CinemaScore. In the nostalgia-fueled movie, Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell returns to the cockpit for the first time in decades to train a new group of cocky aviators for a deadly mission. Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Connelly and Val Kilmer, who played Iceman in the first “Top Gun,” round out the cast.

Though “Maverick” did not face any notable competition over the weekend, it’ll soon take on Universal’s dino-sized tentpole “Jurassic World Dominion,” starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill and Laura Dern. Let the battle of the blockbusters commence!

VIP+ Analysis: The Movies Battling “Maverick” for Summer’s #1 Hit