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Tom Cruise targets the $100 million mark with ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Tom Cruise will have the opportunity this weekend to do something he’s never done before – open a film to more than $100 million domestically. Over the past thirty-three years, the prolific actor has generated more than $4.2 billion in box office revenue, but has yet to open to a film opening beyond $65 million.

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Top Gun Maverick

This weekend, Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” is finally in theaters after several pandemic-related delays. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 97% “fresh” rating, and presale tickets sold well.

Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, predicts that the film will probably reach its target of $100 million in its first three days. “We’re not just talking about a new career best for Mr. Cruise, but also potentially some Memorial Day weekend records that may be going down.”

In addition to several delays due to the Covid litigation, the sequel to the 1986 original, which was a pop-culture touchstone, is enjoying strong word of mouth from critics.

The film’s domestic opening is expected to be between $98 million and $125 million according to box office analysts.

Regardless of whether or not the film reaches $100 million, Cruise’s highest opening weekend is still in store. Data from Comscore shows he currently has a record of $64.8 million from the film “War of the Worlds” from 2005.

“We can mostly chalk that odd factoid up to the reality that Tom Cruise has rarely attached himself to blockbuster franchises commanding front-loaded debuts,” said Robbins. “The majority of his movies are built around star power and word of mouth generating long box office legs in a way that isn’t at the forefront of the industry’s mindset anymore.”

Cruise does not usually follow up on movies very often, according to Robbins. Mission: Impossible and Jack Reacher’s second movie are the exceptions. ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ (2018) is Cruise’s most successful film, making $220 million in the United States and $791 million internationally. It is planned to release “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” next year.

In addition, movie debuts of $100 million have only become a common thing in the last decade as ticket prices have risen and popular franchises like Marvel and DC have drawn crowds to theaters on opening weekend. Warner Bros.’ “The Batman” and Disney’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” both opened over $100 million this year, as the movie theater industry tries to regain its legs after two years of pandemic restrictions.

According to Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian, the hallmark of Cruise’s box office legacy is its longevity.

The total domestic box office revenues Cruise has achieved during the runs of more than half of his 43 films have exceeded $100 million. Since his movies first came out four decades ago, they have generated over $10.3 billion in ticket sales worldwide.

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