In holdover news, the big story was again the remarkable legs shown by Skydance and Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick. It earned $50 million in its third domestic weekend, dropping just 44% for a $393 million 17-day total. That essentially ties it with Rain Man ($172 million in 1988/$395 million adjusted) among Tom Cruise’s biggest inflation-adjusted domestic grossers. and top gun ($176 million in 1986/$440 million adjusted) isn’t far behind for the top spot. That $50 million gross is tenth among all weekend three grosses, with eight of the other nine all belonging to films that opened above $200 million. The tenth is avatar, which earned a still-record $68 million in weekend three after a $77 million debut and $75 million second-weekend gross. Still, I imagine James Cameron is either sweating or relishing an unexpected challenge. The $170 million legacy sequel has earned $393 million domestic thus far.
That puts it days away from passing $400 million domestic and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($398 million after a $5 million domestic weekend) as the year’s biggest domestic earner. That will make it the second-biggest domestic grosser of the Covid era behind Spider-Man: No Way Home ($804 million from a $260 million debut in late 2021). Among other obvious factors (holiday legs, white-hot buzz, generational nostalgia, etc.) the Marvel/Sony flick benefited from a lack of tentpole competition (and no awards season breakouts in early 2022). Top Gun: Legacy has the buzz and the nostalgia, along with strong reviews and quite a bit of business for irregular moviegoers, the sort that usually only show up for a film like American Sniper or The Passion of the Christ. That demo, along with everything else working in its favor, is partially why the drops have been so low.
The leggiest $100 million opener remains Shrek 2 which earned $108 million from a $128 million Wed-Sun debut and legged out to $441 million domestic in the summer of 2004. The leggiest “opened on a Friday” opener remains Wonder Woman which earned $412.5 million from a $103.5 million debut five years ago. Top Gun: Maverick has already earned 3.11x its $126 million Fri-Sun debut and 2.45x its $160.5 million Fri-Mon Memorial Day weekend launch. It could very well become the leggiest “opened on a Friday” $100 million-plus opener if it reaches $508 million (and the leggiest period if it passes $515 million) but Wonder Woman will keep the “no holidays” asterisk. The closest comparison is Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, which opened with $114 million, dropped 37% in weekend two and 36% (against Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones) in weekend three and eventually earned $403 million.
That’s 1.4x its $285.5 million 17-day total, which would give Top Gun: Maverick the $555 million finish. That may be hyperbole, but A) the raw grosses and small drops have been hyperbolic and B) there are almost no big live-action tentpoles left (Thor: Love and Thunder, Nope and kinda/sorta Elvis and bullet train) for the rest of the summer. The Joseph Kosinski-directed film has earned $747 million worldwide, putting it ahead of every Tom Cruise movie save (for now) Mission: Impossible – Fallout ($792 million). It earned another $52.7 million overseas this weekend, giving it a $102.7 million global weekend. A “normal” rate of descent from this point would give it a final peak of around $500 million domestic and $960 million worldwide. South Korea (June 23 and where the last three Mission: Impossible movies earned $40-$50 million) could push it past $1 billion.
In other holdover news for the weekend, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has earned $398 million domestic and $930 million worldwide. It’s still the year’s biggest global grosser and may remain so no matter how far Top Gun: Maverick soars in North America. Of note, just because gladiator overshadowed Mission: Impossible II in terms of pop culture zeitgeist in the summer of 2000 didn’t make the Tom Cruise sequel ($215 million domestic and $545 million worldwide) any less of a smash. For that matter, spider man topped domestically in 2002 but ended below Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers worldwide for the year. Anyway, the Doctor Strange sequel earning $930 million, 37% more than its predecessor without that extra $100-$150 million from China, is a remarkable accomplishment and a reaffirmation of Marvel’s global popularity.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sits with $189 million domestic and $397 million worldwide, meaning it’ll eventually crawl past $400 million global and the likes of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and uncharted. The Lost City has earned $185 million global on a $70 million budget, meaning the Sandra Bullock/Channing Tatum rom-com adventure is profitable in raw theatrical revenue. Oh, and A24’s Everything Everywhere All At Once earned another $1,271 million (-37%) despite arriving on EST (“priced to buy” digital) this past Tuesday. The $25 million Daniels-directed fantasy (produced by, among others, AGBO) has earned $63 million domestic (behind only) Free Guy and The Lost City among live-action Covid-era originals) and $86 million worldwide. Differing overseas distribution studios aside, it’s now past hereditary ($81 million) to be A24’s biggest global earner. Oh, and it’s currently #1 on iTunes and YouTube, so it’s got that going for it too.