The Tom Cruise Paramount/Skydance sequel goes to an even higher stratosphere with a 4-day $160.5M Memorial Day opening record. Global is at a $300M start. Important to note that given the whole thing of rolling the $13.2M Thursday previews of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End into its opening weekend, that movie still has the 3-day over Memorial Day weekend with $127.97M to Top Gun: Maverick’s $126.7M.
At World’s End’s four-day holiday opening of $139.8M was further puffed by Thursday previews which got that third Pirates to a $153M stateside start, a Memorial Day record Disney held for the last 15 years. No more; those bragging rights go to Paramount now. Over the weekend, debate raged on whether those $13.2M At World’s End previews (reportedly started at 8 PM) should be included in that pic’s 4-day opening; that gross was recorded before studios began rolling previews into their weekend openings. Forever, Box Office Mojo and Comscore showed At World’s End with a 4-day start of $139.8M. Mojo separated that $13.2M At World’s End previews into a separate Thursday opening day, while Comscore rolled that amount into At World’s End’s seven-day gross — not its opening, capisce? However, given how previews have been included in these blockbuster openings of late, it only made sense to measure this race by an apples-to-apples slide rule.
Top Gun: Maverick made $36.7M yesterday -3% from its $38M Saturday. The three-day stands at $126.7M; still, the second-best among Friday-Sunday starts for Paramount after Iron Man 2 ($128.1M).
EntTelligence reports that 11.6M moviegoers have seen Top Gun 2 to date, which is the third biggest attendance during the pandemic era (since Q2 2020) after Spider-Man: No Way Home (20.6M) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (14M) for an opening weekend.
Speaking of Paramount, that studio is on a dynamite upswing this year. Top Gun 2 is the studio’s 5th No. 1 opening of 2022 after Scream, Jackass Forever, The Lost City, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, a slate built on robust diversity of winning products. Not many studios can exclaim that (sorry, Universal. Despite all your smart co-financing, your diverse product outside of Bad Guys hasn’t been winning). With Top Gun 2, Paramount flies to $585M for 2022, which will make it the No. 1 studio at the domestic box office.
Many know that Top Gun 2 was put into the Paramount pipeline during the Jim G era; however, we need to raise a glass to Paramount Pictures CEO Brian Robbins for not falling prey to the industry’s seduction of streaming and taking what was always a prized tentpole and going day-and-date with it on Paramount+. Waiting is everything, and the hopscotching of Top Gun 2 around the calendar –at one point, Independence Day 2021, then Thanksgiving last year, and then now– has truly paid off. The Tom Cruise sequel was always meant to be paired with the hot weather season and barbeque. It’s a lesson to all you major studios inebriated on streaming that theatrical is king, and such assets for the big screen should be protected. Now, Paramount has a major franchise they can move forward on. Bruckheimer tells Deadline this morning that a third film isn’t being discussed yet, “we’re enjoying this one; let’s ride this wave.” However, it’s a no-brainer that Paramount wants a third Top Gun film.
Speaking of the flyover states’ success here on Top Gun 2, Midwest chain B&B Theatres dropped Deadline a note that their 513-plus screen chain overperformed by 47% on Top Gun 2. Not all chains can claim from the data Deadline has seen, i.e., AMC, despite being tops for the weekend). Regal Theaters overperformed with Top Gun 2 by 14%. As studios wonder how to build and rally with a slate of products outside of tentpole movies appealing to various demos, they should recognize the potential and underserved nature of the red state crowd. Top Gun 2 is arguably the first red state movie since 2014’s American Sniper to propel older audiences to attend, who typically don’t go to the movies in these parts of the country. There was a point in time, before the explosion of the offshore marketplace and the 1980s blockbuster era, that all Hollywood did make movies for audiences between NY and LA, i.e., Smokey and the Bandit ($126.7M), American Graffiti ($115M), Every Which Way But Loose ($85.1M), Coal Miner’s Daughter ($67M), even 1982’s An Officer and a Gentleman (near $130M). While that audience is older, their tastes have been passed on to younger generations.
The march for Top Gun 2 began in July 2019 at San Diego Comic-Con. As Deadline first told you, that’s when Cruise made a surprise appearance in Hall H after the Terminator: Dark Fate panel. The first teaser was also dropped at SDCC. San Diego was of utmost importance given the franchise’s naval base setting. Those exhibitors and press who attended CinemaCon last August saw the picture’s first 20 minutes. This past April, CinemaCon got to see the Kosinski-directed movie for the first time before its San Diego premiere and Cannes, Royal London, and Tokyo galas.
Other marketing highlights included Cruise’s custom intro for the NFL AFC Championship on CBS. Select brand partnerships had Applebee’s with a national TV, digital, and radio campaign with takeovers in 1600+ restaurants; Microsoft Flight Simulator launched a DLC and Xbox created custom movie-themed consoles; JetSuite X wrapped a plane with Top Gun branding used to fly talent and influencers to the SDCC global junket and premiere; Porsche had a co-branded spot in the Super Bowl and sponsored a Need for Speed influencer event at their test track, and Coca-Cola activated an in-theatre promotion around the globe.
Paramount Pictures and Interscope debuted two original songs and music videos from the soundtrack in the lead up to release, including Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” and One Republic’s “I Ain’t Worried.”
Paramount created a custom spot that ran on ESPN and other nets featuring the Best of the Best sports Mavericks, including Sean McVay, head coach of Super Bowl Champions LA Rams, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, Masters winner Scottie Scheffler, UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Julianna Peña, and NCAA Basketball Champion and Most Outstanding Player Aliyah Boston. Overall, iSpot measured that the Melrose Lot spent $16.4M in TV spots that reached over 1 billion in impressions.
There were 3D outdoor executions around the globe, including the US, UK, Australia, Japan, Spain, Italy, and a custom video takeover of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai
Burj Khalifa shines with TOM CRUISE and one of the most anticipated movies of the year! TOP GUN MAVERICK now showing IN CINEMAS ONLY pic.twitter.com/spfD8U8bf3
— Four Star Films ME (@FourStarFilmsME) May 26, 2022
- Top Gun: Maverick (Par) 4,735 theaters Fri $52M, Sat $38M, Sun $34M, Mon $27M, 3-day $124M, 4-day $151M/Wk 1
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Dis) 3,805 theaters (-729), Fri $4.4M (-48%), Sat $6.1M, Sun $5.88M, Mon $4.7M, 3 day $16.4M (-49%), 4 day $21.1M, total $375.4M, /Wk 4
- The Bob’s Burgers Movie (20th/Dis) 3,425 theaters, Fri $5.7M, Sat $3.7M, Sun, $3.2M, Mon $2.4M, 3-day $12.6M, 4-day $15M/Wk 1
- Downton Abbey: A New Era (Foc) 3,830 theaters (+10), Fri $1.8M (-75%), Sat $2M, Sun $1.98M, Mon $1.6M, 3-day $5.9M (-63%), 4-day $7.5M, total $30M/Wk 2
- The Bad Guys (Uni) 2944 theaters (-761), Fri $1.2M (-18%), Sat $1.74M, Sun $1.65M, Mon $1.52M, 3-day $4.63M (-25%), 4-day $6.1M, total $82.8M/Wk 6
- Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24) 1,189 (-389) theaters, Fri $693K (-22%), Sat $913K, Sun $905K, Mon $679K, 3-day $2.5M (-19%), 4-day $3.189M, Total $57.5M/Wk 10
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Par) 2,329 (-614) theaters, Fri $670K (-28%), Sat $1M, Sun $850K, Mon $600K, 3-day $2.52M (-38%) , 4-day $3.12M, Total $186.2M/Wk 8
- The Lost City (Par) 1,027 (-369) theaters, Fri $445K, Sat $710K, Sun $635K, Mon $510K, 3-day $1.79M (+15%), 4-day $2.3M, Total $102.2M/Wk 10
- Men (A24) 2,196 (-16) theaters, Fri $379K (-73%), Sat $433K, Sun $411k, Mon $309K 3-day $1.2M (-63%), 4-day $1.53M, Total $6.27M/Wk 2
- F3: Fun and Frustration (Independent Indian) 400 theaters, Fri $518K, Sat $261K, Sun $249K, Mon $167K, 3-day $1.04M , 4-day $1.2M/Wk 1