Top Gun: Maverick was already projected to be the biggest opening of Tom Cruise‘s career, and it seems to already have a missile lock on that target before the holiday weekend has started. According to the latest box office receipts, the Thursday showings for Top Gun: Maverick are the highest preview sales ever recorded for a Memorial Day weekend thanks to the film racking up $19.3 million. That’s an all-time best for Paramount, which has to be very glad they gave into Cruise’s demand to hold onto the film and not release it on streaming.
The previous best Memorial Day preview for Paramount was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen all the way back in 2009, and surprisingly, the all-time titleholder until now was the critically panned Solo: A Star Wars Story, which caused a collective freakout on the direction of the franchise that’s still happening to this day.
On a Thursday preview basis, that’s the best Tom Cruise has ever seen, blowing away the $6M previews from 2018’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Industry projections earlier this week believe that a $100M+ four-day is in store at 4,735 theaters, which of course would make it the best weekend opening ever for Cruise. At that preview level, Top Gun: Maverick will feasibly outrace that projection; note that good word of mouth should spread to adults thus clicking ticket sales higher. Cruise’s record 3-day (in an elongated Independence Day week launch) belongs to Paramount’s 2005 Steven Spielberg sci-fi movie War of the Worlds at $64.8M.
During the pandemic, Cruise personally called theater owners and reassured them that help is on the way with both Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One coming down the pipe. So far, it appears the actor is delivering on that promise and cementing his status as one of the biggest box-office draws of all time.