The Paramount movie — in which Cruise’s Maverick teaches a new class of Top Gun recruits — is expected to gross about $120 million before its three-day opening. That easily makes “Maverick” the most profitable debut in Cruise’s 40-year career, overtaking “War of the Worlds,” which opened in 2005 for $64.8 million.
Cruise and Paramount are already on track for a big weekend, with the film earning $51.8 million before opening day. The film is also on track for a $150 million opening over the four-day holiday weekend.
It may seem strange that none of Cruise’s films have opened over $65 million, but that’s because Cruise is the Hank Aaron of the movies — a reliable and consistent hitmaker — who has brought in over $10 billion from the worldwide. box office since 1981, despite his films never coming close to opening $100 million.
“Cruise is all about the marathon, not the sprint, when it comes to his performance at the box office,” said Dergarabedian. “The consistency of his bankability over his more than four decades on the big screen is virtually unparalleled.”
Sticking with the release for two years has paid off, and the film is getting great reviews. It currently has a near-perfect score of 97% on the review site Rotten Tomatoes.
“‘Maverick’ is pretty sure he’s going to be his biggest career opening right now,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, told DailyExpertNews Business. “Everything is in his favour, from strong reviews to social media buzz, ticket presales and an eager audience that has been waiting a long time for a sequel to his career-making role.”
Robbins added that younger moviegoers “drive the lion’s share of the box office business,” but even though “Maverick” comes 36 years after the original, it still matters.
“Make no mistake, this is still a very important film to bring back more age-delayed pandemic-era laggards who can still make a difference to the overall health of the industry as it continues to recover,” Robbins said. .
Climbing back up the mountain
How “Maverick” fares at the box office also matters a lot to Paramount.
Lately, however, the studio has struggled to gain a foothold in an ever-evolving film industry. It’s been over a decade since Paramount took the number one spot in the box office’s annual market share.
“Paramount is one of the studios that has been at the forefront of movie rebound,” said Robbins. “From a philosophical point of view, because of what their big-screen presence has meant for theatrical exhibitions, it could very well turn out to be one of the most significant years in Paramount’s storied history.”