Paramount’s ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Looks to Crush Memorial Day Weekend Box Office

Entering the long Memorial Day weekend should be a box office success for Paramount Pictures’ oft delayed and highly anticipated sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, featuring Tom Cruise reprising one of the roles that made him a superstar.

Originally slated for the 2020 summer box office, the movie was shelved as the pandemic decimated the exhibition market. Now, the sequel is expected to help lure back baby boomer and Gen. X moviegoers (especially military families) who might be using the title as a reason to return to theaters. The movie is projected to top $100 million across North American screens from May 27-29, and $125 million when factoring Thursday, May 26 screenings.

No Tom Cruise movie has ever opened above $100 million at the domestic box office. While Paramount is betting the farm, opening the movie at a record 4,725 North American screens, it is reportedly projecting a four-day opening box office of $93 million. The film generated $19.3 million in Thursday previews. 

Supporting the lofty ticket sale projections are Cruise’s appeal with older female audiences, strong critical reviews (97% Rotten Tomatoes) and the actor’s promise to include more spectacular aerials — many flown by Cruise himself, an accomplished pilot.

On the opposite end of the weekend box office, Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ new release, The Bob’s Burgers Movie, is projected to generate $12 million to $15 million across about 3,400 screens.

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