With another $14.1 million on Tuesday, up 14% from Monday (thanks to “cheap ticket Tuesday” at most major theater chains) and down just 11% from its first $15.8 million-grossing Tuesday, Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick has now earned a remarkable $322 million in just 12 days of domestic release. It’s obviously Tom Cruise’s biggest domestic earner, and by today it’ll be over/under $100 million ahead of the earlier recordholder, Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds which earned $234 million in 2005. In terms of inflation-adjusted grosses (remember, Cruise was a star back when $30 million was a big budget, $15 million was a solid opening and $200 million worldwide was an unmitigated box office success), it’s already ahead of almost every Cruise flick.
In terms of “tickets sold in North America,” it’ll pass War of the Worlds ($334 million adjusted) today. After that there’s only The Firm ($158 million in 1993/$358 million adjusted), Mission: Impossible II ($215 million in 2000/$365 million adjusted), Mission: Impossible ($181 million in 1996/$375 million adjusted), Rain Man ($173 million in 1988/$396 million adjusted) and Top Gun ($180 million in 1986/$440 million adjusted). Considering the legs and buzz, along with likely-to-be-mixed reviews for Jurassic World: Dominion (I liked it just well enough, but I’m not expecting many raves), Top Gun 2 may end this weekend close to $400 million in North America, or ahead of every Cruise flick save for Rain Man and Top Gun by the end of day 17.
Hollywood used to be a place where Barry Levinson’s Oscar-winning Rain Man, starring Tom Cruise as a selfish car dealer and Dustin Hoffman as his autistic older brother being roped along for a road trip, would earn about as much domestically as a macho action drama like Tony Scott’s Top Gun. But I digress. Presuming the picture has maintained a 53.1/46.9 domestic/overseas split, Paramount and Skydance’s $170 million legacy sequel should be around $606 million worldwide. That’s past Transformers: The Last Knight ($605 million in 2017) to become Paramount’s biggest non-Mission: Impossible global grosser since Transformers: Age of Extinction ($1.105 billion in 2014). It is also just past War of the Worlds ($605 million in 2005) to become Cruise’s biggest non-Mission: Impossible global grosser.
Ahead of it for Paramount in unadjusted domestic grosses are only Shrek the Third ($323 million in 2007), Forrest Gump ($330 million in 1994), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($402 million in 2009) and Titanic ($658 million in 1997/1998 counting the 3-D reissue in 2012). So, yes, it should be in second place by early next week. When it tops Fallout ($792 million in 2018) to become Cruise’s biggest global grosser and Shrek the Third ($807 million in 2007), and that seems inevitable at this point, it’ll also be Paramount’s fourth-biggest grosser behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($837 million in 2008), Transformers: Age of Extinction ($1.105 billion in 2014), Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1.123 billion in 2011) and Titanic ($2.2 billion).
However, since Fox distributed Titanic overseas, even a (pie in the sky) $1.124 billion total would make it the biggest 100% Paramount grosser ever. Speaking of which, yes, it’s possible (but not remotely guaranteed) that Top Gun: Maverick could be Tom Cruise’s first $1 billion grosser. As discussed yesterday, a 53/47 domestic/overseas split would require around $530 million domestic, right between (sans inflation) Rogue One and The Dark Knight. With Russia and China presumably off the table, the last major untapped territory is South Korea on June 22. The last three Mission: Impossible movies all earned $41-$51 million in Korea, so I’d imagine (considering the overseas grosses thus far, including $26 million in Japan) Maverick is good for at least that much.
Such a result means maybe a domestic cume closer to $500 million could be enough to push its global total over $1 billion but ask me again next weekend. Top Gun: Maverick is now nearly a lock to be the summer’s biggest domestic grosser, and honestly only Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Avatar: The Way of Water can be realistically expected to challenge it for the 2022 domestic crown. However, Jurassic World: Dominion is a threequel to a franchise whose last two films earned $1.671 billion and $1.308 billion global and whose consumer word of mouth often counters mixed critical reception. Regardless, that we’re even having this conversation about a movie that would have been a strong overperformer at $550 million is itself a triumph.