Tom Cruise sent a message to fans after his long-awaited sequel “Top Gun: Maverick” scored an “historic opening weekend” not only for the actor, but in the history of Memorial Day box office openings as well.
The 59-year-old actor’s famed character Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell makes a return to the big screen after his debut in the 1986 action-packed film “Top Gun,” and it has proven to be a career changer for the “Mission Impossible” star. The sequel has landed the actor his biggest box-office opening of his career as the movie brought in more than $160 million over the four-day release of the film, Deadline reported in a piece published Wednesday.
In response, Cruise tweeted Tuesday, “Thank you to everyone who saw #TopGun: Maverick and helped make it a historic opening weekend.”
Thank you to everyone who saw #TopGun: Maverick and helped make it a historic opening weekend.
— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) May 31, 2022
The outlet noted that through Tuesday, the movie has taken in $176.3 million. The highly-anticipated sequel will easily beat the original films domestic lifetime total of $180.258 million.
To put that into context, the “Jack Reacher” star’s prior largest domestic box office opening numbers were: $64.9 million in 2005 for “War of the Worlds,” followed by “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” in 2018, which grossed $61.2 million opening weekend, according to Comscore and not adjusted for inflation, as The Daily Wire reported. The rest of Cruise’s films have had openings of less than $60 million, with him earning $4.2 billion at the domestic box office since 1981, CNBC noted.
In the sequel, Cruise’s character “Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him” before he is called back to “Top Gun,” according to IMDb.
And to think it almost didn’t happen. The movie’s director Joseph Kosinski shared that Cruise “really didn’t want to make” a sequel, but in 30 minutes, he changed his mind.
“So I read the script, I had some ideas, and Jerry [Bruckheimer] liked those ideas,” Kosinski shared. “He said, ‘You know what, you gotta go pitch this to Tom directly.’”
“We flew to Paris, where Tom was shooting ‘Mission: Impossible,’ we got about a half-hour of his time between setups,” he added. “And I basically had 30 minutes to pitch this film, which I didn’t realize when we were flying over. But when I got there, I found that Tom really didn’t want to make another ‘Top Gun.’”
After his pitch, he said Cruise immediately called the head of Paramount Pictures and said, “We’re making another ‘Top Gun.’”