Top Gun’ sequel “Maverick” is eying a record Memorial Day weekend opening.
The sequel, which brings back Tom Cruise, has been delayed several times due to the pandemic.
Most observers are expecting the film to bring in over $100 million domestically over the holiday weekend.
“Expectations are high,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office Pro, told Yahoo Finance. Robbins added that “at this point, even the most conservative numbers for ‘Top Gun’ just don’t feel like they’re enough. This very much feels like a ‘welcome back to the movies’ type of experience.”
According to Box Office Pro, a three-day opening weekend will range of $120-145 million and a four-day opening weekend range of $143-$177 million.
Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” released in 2007, currently holds the Memorial Day weekend record by earning $114.7 million and $139.8 million over its three-day and four-day openings, respectively. This is based on the official numbers.
According to Robbins, the film would be Cruise’s first $100-million opener of his decades-spanning career and even “going pretty significantly further.”
“The buzz around [‘Maverick’] is just kind of insane at this point,” Robbins said. “I think we’re very likely looking at one of the biggest Memorial Day openers of all time,” suggesting a new record is not off of the table given the strong reviews (97% on Rotten Tomatoes) and positive online chatter.
“It’s really hard to find any downside here,” he stated, although he did note one potential risk could be the film’s strong ties to the 1986 original. “It’s a question about how much youth appeal there will be for this movie, especially for people who didn’t grow up seeing it. That will be the biggest and probably most significant test.”
The film is also expected to be Tom Cruise’s best worldwide opening of his career at $180 million, but also a record for him stateside with at least $92M-$100M+ in box office and what also looks to be one of the top 10 debuts over the four-day May holiday frame.
Disclaimer: We have no position in any of the companies mentioned and have not been compensated for this article.