Riding high on a stream of rave reviews and the prevailing winds of audiences who’ve shown their eagerness to return to theaters, Top Gun: Maverick is locked and loaded to be Tom Cruise‘s best opening weekend ever at the global and American box office. According to analysts, Cruise is looking at a potential $92 to $100 million box office haul in the states with that number virtually doubling when you throw in international box offices for a projected grand total of $180 million, a career best for the actor.
On top of the strong word of mouth, Top Gun: Maverick is also being aided by what Deadline is calling one of, if not the biggest number of theater showings ever. We’re talking a Marvel-scale release and then some:
In U.S. and Canada, the co-financed and co-produced Skydance sequel is booked at 4,727 theaters; arguably the widest release ever, besting the location count of 2019’s The Lion King (4,725 theaters), and the pandemic debuts of Spider-Man: No Way Home (4,336 theaters) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (4,534 sites). Previews start at 3PM on Thursday. However, yesterday, theaters coast to coast hosted “Top Gun Tuesday,” a special pre-opening fan event which started at 7PM presented in Dolby Cinema, IMAX, and other premium large format screens.
Cruise personally saw that Top Gun: Maverick never went to streaming and reportedly used his clout to prevent the film’s release on Paramount+. He also claims to have called up theater owners during the pandemic and calmed their fears by telling them that Top Gun and Mission: Impossible films are coming. Clearly, Cruise’s strategy worked as theaters are giving Top Gun: Maverick all the runway it needs for a massive opening weekend.