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Tom Cruise and “Top Gun: Maverick” debut with more than 100 million dollars at the box office

Forget breaking the sound barrier: Tom Cruise just passed a major milestone in his career. The 59-year-old superstar notches his first opening weekend of $100 million at the box office with “Top Gun: Maverick.”

In its first three days in theaters in the United States and Canada, the long-awaited sequel grossed about $124 million, Paramount Pictures reported Sunday. If you take into account what is registered internationally, the tape added 248 million.

It’s a supersonic start for a movie that still has clear skies from Memorial Day Wars to raise even more money. According to projections and calculations, by the end of this Monday, “Top Gun: Maverick” will probably exceed 150 million dollars.

“These results are ridiculously fantastic, over the top,” said Chris Aronson, president of national distribution for Paramount. “I’m happy for everyone. I’m happy for the company, for Tom, for the filmmakers.”

Although he is undeniably one of the world’s biggest stars – perhaps even “the ultimate movie star,” according to various headlines – Cruise is not known for having scored big box-office successes at his movie releases.

Before “Maverick,” his biggest domestic debut was in 2005, with Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds,” which opened to $64 million. Following that was “Mission: Impossible-Fallout” at $61 million in 2018. It’s not that his movies don’t make money in the long run, it’s just that they just don’t usually make big bucks on their opening weekend.

“Top Gun: Maverick” had an extremely long journey to reach theaters. The sequel to the late Tony Scott’s “Top Gun” film, which was released in 1986, was originally set to debut in the summer of 2020. Technically, its advertising campaign began in July 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic interfered with those plans, and its release was pushed back several times. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and co-produced and co-financed by Skydance, it cost an estimated $152 million to produce.

But even as the months, and years, passed and many other companies chose to go for a mixed solution with hybrid releases, Cruise and Paramount did not waver in their desire to have a big theatrical release. A streaming debut was simply not an option.

“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” was the only premiere that dared to compete with “Top Gun”. Released by 20th Century Studios and Disney, the animated film grossed $12.6 million from 3,425 theaters. It debuted in third place behind “Doctor Strange 2,” which earned $16.4 million in its fourth weekend in theaters.

Here are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at theaters in the United States and Canada, according to Comscore. Final figures will be released on Tuesday.

1. “Top Gun: Maverick,” $124 million.

2. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” $16.4 million.

3. “The Bob’s Burgers Movie,” $12.6 million.

4. “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” $5.9 million.

5. “The Bad Guys,” $4.6 million.

6. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2″, 2.5 million.

7. “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” $2.5 million.

8. “The Lost City”, 1.8 million.

9. “Men”, 1.2 million.

10. “F3: Fun and Frustration”, 1 million.

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