Top Gun Opening Weekend

May 31, 2022

… if I could just do this for the rest of my life, I will never take it for granted.

Actor Tom Cruise reflecting on his first acting experience and his love of movie-making. His latest film, “Top Gun: Maverick,” brought in more than $150 million during its four-day opening weekend — a first for the actor.

Why It Matters: 36 years after the release of the original “Top Gun” film, which starred a young Tom Cruise, its sequel — “Top Gun: Maverick” — made an estimated $156 million in the United States during its four-day opener. This marks a record even for Cruise, whom many have called “the last movie star.”

  • “Top Gun: Maverick,” which was supposed to debut in the summer of 2020, overcame many pandemic delays on its way to theaters. Although Paramount Pictures and Cruise — one of the film’s producers — could have chosen to release the movie through streaming services, they did not waver from their plans for a worldwide theatrical release.
  • At the Cannes Film Festival in France, Cruise said there wasn’t a chance their movie would be initially released on streaming services: “I make movies for the big screen … I love this experience and I want other filmmakers to have that experience.” He explained his love for theaters, saying, “Look at us all together, we’re all united, we all speak different languages, different cultures … but we’re able to come together around a shared experience.”
  • “Top Gun: Maverick” opened in a record 4,735 theaters across North America, and has so far received excellent reviews. Paramount Pictures president of domestic distribution, Chris Aronson, lends the success of the movie to the “power of effective storytelling,” explaining, “If you have a great story and execute it well, people will come to see it.”

Fun Fact (No Spoilers): Cruise — who is known for doing his own stunts in movies, and who also holds his own pilot’s license — insisted that *all* the actors portraying the film’s pilots go through three months of Navy-approved flight training so that they could endure the physical demands of actually filming in fighter jets, including staying conscious through high G-forces.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ jets to new box office record (CNN)

Tom Cruise scores first $100M opening with ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ (NY Post)

Hollywood, Don’t Take the Wrong Lessons From ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ (Variety)

How the ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Cast Trained to Fly Fighter Jets (Variety)

Tom Cruise Details ‘All Encompassing Aviation Training’ He put Cast Through for Top Gun: Maverick (People)

‘Top Gun should be a safe place for man-tears’: Thousands of men admit crying over Tom Cruise sequel as it makes $248m at box office on record opening weekend (Daily Mail)

by Jenna Lee,