Box office: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ becomes only 17th movie ever to make $500 million

When Tom Cruise’s long-awaited sequel “Top Gun: Maverick” opened over Memorial Day weekend, some thought it could become Cruise’s biggest opening ever with $100 million over the four-day holiday weekend. In fact, it ended up opening with $160.5 million over those four days, becoming the highest grossing Memorial Day release ever. One month later, it is now the first 2022 movie to make $500 million at the domestic box office.

What happened after its opening was nothing short of astonishing, because movies that open that big on a holiday weekend tend to have substantial drop-offs in the following weeks. In its second weekend, the aviation action flick made $90 million, a drop-off of less than 29% as it came close to $300 million in just 11 days. That made it Cruise’s highest grossing domestic release EVER.

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As of this weekend, “Maverick” has surpassed the $500 million mark, becoming only the 17th movie to cross that milestone ever and only the second movie since the pandemic following 2021’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” That amount is also twice the $234 million that Cruise’s previous highest grosser, “War of the Worlds,” made in total domestically.

More importantly, “Maverick” has withstood the release of high-profile blockbusters like “Jurassic World: Dominion” and Pixar’s “Lightyear,” zooming past $400 million while achieving a virtually impossible $44 million fourth weekend with no signs of slowing down.

On top of that, “Maverick” has also exceeded $900 million globally, which puts it right up there with “Multiverse of Madness” (currently at $942.4 million globally) and puts it ahead of “The Batman” from earlier in the year, which ended up with less than $800 million.

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The history of $500 million blockbusters is a fascinating one, because before 2008, there was exactly one: James Cameron’s “Titanic.” Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight’ was the second movie to pass that mark in 2008, followed a year later by Cameron’s “Avatar.” There have been 11 other movies to pass that mark since 2015 alone, three of them “Star Wars” movies, five of them Marvel superhero movies, the first “Jurassic World,” and then three Disney movies, including Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” in 2018.

While many movies have grossed $300 million and even $400 million, one could say that $500 million is the true benchmark for a phenomenon, which “Top Gun: Maverick” most certainly is.

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