Top Gun: Maverick breaks Memorial Day record with whopping million-dollar opening
Los Angeles, California - Top Gun: Maverick soared to the highest-ever Memorial Day weekend opening for a movie ever, raking in an impressive $156 million at the domestic box office in its first four days of release.
The updated estimates from measurement firm Comscore released on Monday pushes Paramount’s highly anticipated Top Gun sequel past the previous record-setting Memorial Day total set by Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End in 2007.
The third film in the Pirates franchise earned $153 million over the extended holiday weekend in the US.
Directed by Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick sees Tom Cruise return as his iconic Navy pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell 36 years after he first charmed audiences in the original Top Gun.
This time around, Cruise’s Maverick is sent back to the Top Gun program as an instructor charged with training the next generation of elite fighter pilots.
Lady Gaga wrote and performs the film's theme song, Hold My Hand.
Top Gun: Maverick is earning rave reviews among critics and fans
In his review, Times film critic Justin Chang described the film as "ridiculous and often ridiculously entertaining."
"As a rare big-budget Hollywood movie about men and women who fly without capes, it has a lot riding on it," Chang wrote of the film.
"Once set for a summer 2020 release but delayed almost two years by the pandemic, it arrives bearing the hopes and dreams of a tentatively resurgent industry that could use a non-Marvel theatrical hit."
Almost as "ridiculously entertaining" was Cruise's grand entrance to the film's US premier, landing in a helicopter onto an aircraft carrier during an epic red-carpet arrival earlier this month.
Variety reported that approximately 55% of the movie’s audiences over the weekend were 35 years or older, indicating its appeal to a demographic that has been the most reluctant to return to movie theaters.
Top Gun: Maverick smashed early box-office expectations, which predicted the sequel would earn $130 million over the four-day weekend. The film also marks Cruise's biggest domestic launch ever.
Overall, Maverick’s estimated global box office haul is $252.7 million for its opening weekend.
Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS