In a promising sign for the summer season, Paramount and Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick scored the second-best Memorial Day opening of all time with a projected three-day domestic haul of $124 million and $151 million for the four days. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End remains the record holder for now with a treasure chest of $153 million, according to Disney. (There’s been confusion all weekend about which film holds the record. And if Top Gun overpeformers on Sunday, it could still claim the spoils.)
Top Gun 2 started off with a massive $51.8 million on Friday — including $19.3 million in previews — as it opened in more than 4,700 theaters in North America.
Overseas, Top Gun 2 is doing equally impressive business, considering it isn’t playing in either China or Russia. The film opened to $124 million from 62 markets for an early global haul of $248 million through Sunday. The movie marked Cruise’s top opening weekend ever in 32 markets and Paramount’s biggest live-action bow in 18, led by the U.K. ($19.4 million) and followed by France ($11.7 million) and Australia ($10.7 million). Top Gun 2 lands in South Korea next month.
The release of the long-awaited sequel to the iconic 1986 movie is a defining moment for box office recovery, which so far has been largely fueled by superhero fare propped up by males ages 18 to 34.