‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Had An Even Bigger Opening Than Expected, Stealing A Record From ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End’

Even before the holiday weekend began in earnest, Top Gun: Maverick was breaking records. The 36-years-later sequel to the biggest movie of 1986 performed even better than expected, quickly becoming the biggest ever opening weekend for its star, one Tom Cruise. Now it’s reached another milestone.

As per Deadline, Top Gun 2 — which was on track to “only” gross $151 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend — really grossed a bit more than that. Estimates put its final stateside tally at $156 million. That’s only $5 million more, but that’s enough to push it past the previous highest grosser over this holiday weekend, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Back in 2007, that threequel amassed $153 million at the North American box office.

Here’s where we burst the bubble a bit and talk about inflation. The U.S. dollar has increased considerably since the penultimate year of the Bush II presidency, meaning that the third Pirates’ $153 million haul would today be more like $213 million. For the record, that’s still far below Spider-Man: No Way Home’s epic three-day opening weekend gross of $260 million.

Why did it take so long for Cruise to do a sequel to the blockbuster that made him a megastar? For one thing, he recognized that such a thing could be dangerous. Back in 1990, he noted that kids loved a movie that has long been seen as a military recruitment film, and decided a follow-up would be “irresponsible.” “I want kids to know that that’s not the way war is,” he said, “that Top Gun was just an amusement park ride, a fun film with a PG-13 rating that was not supposed to be reality.” Some three decades later, he clearly changed his mind — and made a film that softens the “America F*ck Yeah!”-ness of the original.

(Via Deadline)