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Top Gun: Maverick is Tom Cruise's first film to break the $100 million (£97 million) mark on its opening weekend.
The action movie, the sequel to 1986's Top Gun, took an estimated $124 million (£98 million) at the U.S. box office in its first three days and is projected to take around $151 million (£119 million) by the end of the Memorial Day holiday weekend on Monday. Adding that figure to takings around the world, Top Gun: Maverick has so far made around $248 million (£196 million).
"These results are ridiculously, over-the-top fantastic," said Chris Aronson, Paramount's president of domestic distribution, reports BBC News. "I'm happy for everyone. I'm happy for the company, for Tom, for the filmmakers."
The movie, in which Cruise plays rebellious pilot Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell, marks the first time one of the action star's films has broken the $100 million milestone at the box office on opening weekend.
It is also his best opening weekend performance since Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, which opened to $64 million ($51 million) in 2005.
Top Gun: Maverick also achieved the fourth-biggest opening of the Covid-19 era following Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and The Batman, and therefore, the biggest opening of a non-superhero movie since the pandemic began.
The film was originally scheduled to open in summer 2020 but Cruise and the filmmaking team delayed its release until it could be shown in theatres, with them reportedly rejecting offers to premiere it on a streaming service.
Celebrating its release in a rare social media post, Cruise wrote on Thursday, "36 years after the first film, #TopGun: Maverick is finally here. We made it for the big screen. And we made it for you, the fans. I hope you enjoy the ride this weekend."