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


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By Frank Pallotta, CNN Business

“Top Gun: Maverick” took off at the box office this weekend — setting a new record in the process.

The sequel to the 1986 blockbuster, which has Tom Cruise reprise his most iconic role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, made an estimated $156 million domestically for its four-day opening weekend, according to Paramount.

That gives the film the record for biggest opening over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, overtaking “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” which made $153 million in 2007.

Maverick” surpassed expectations at the ticket booth this weekend. Analysts forecast the film to make closer to $80 million for its weekend opening and $150 million over the four day holiday. It’s easily Cruise’s biggest debut at the box office over his 40-year career and marks the star’s first $100 million opening.

On top of all of that, “Maverick” is the third-biggest debut of the year behind two superhero films, Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and Warner Bros.’ “The Batman.”

Studios and theaters couldn’t ask for a better way to dive into the summer — the film industry’s most lucrative season.

Recently, Paramount has struggled to find its footing in an ever-evolving Hollywood.

That’s not the case in 2022.

Films such as “Scream,” “The Lost City” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” have helped give a boost to Paramount and “Maverick” continues that trend.

As for theaters, “Maverick” is another blockbuster helping the industry rebound from two brutal years of the pandemic decimating the business.

“Top Gun: Maverick,” which garnered a stellar 96% score on review site Rotten Tomatoes, now has a clear runway to rack up even more success at the box office. There’s not another major film on the docket until Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion,” which opens June 9.

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