Top Gun: Maverick Soars To Record Highs At The Box Office, Leaves Bob's Burgers In The Dust

Memorial Day weekend has often been seen as fertile box office ground for Hollywood as that Monday holiday early in the summer can help squeeze a little bit more juice out of the right blockbuster. This year, Paramount Pictures got it just right by releasing "Top Gun: Maverick" over the holiday weekend, as the movie had the biggest ever Memorial Day opening in history, not to mention setting an important record for Tom Cruise. Meanwhile, Disney's 20th Century Studios tried to counterprogram with "The Bob's Burgers Movie" and, quite honestly, that didn't pan out all too well. Let's dig into the numbers, shall we?

Top Gun obliterates expectations on every level

According to Box Office Mojo, "Top Gun: Maverick" pulled in $126.7 million through Sunday and a staggering $156 million when taking the Monday holiday numbers into account. Amazingly enough, this now marks the first time in Tom Cruise's gigantic, decades-long career that the star has managed to have a film open to $100 million or more. Prior to this, it wasn't even close as "War of the Worlds" was his previous career best with $65 million. So this is a landmark moment in cinema history in a lot of ways, especially since the original "Top Gun" was the movie that cemented him as a superstar. In a way, it's poetic that the long-awaited sequel became the film to cross that benchmark off of his bingo card.

The movie also did gangbusters business internationally, taking in $126 million, meaning that it's already at $282 million worldwide and could well be closer to $300 million by the time I'm done writing this sentence. Even taking the $170 million production budget into account, this is a gigantic win for Paramount, a studio that is already having one hell of a year. We could be looking at a $1 billion hit if things keep going well, and that is so far above and beyond what many of us thought "Top Gun 2" would be able to do. I know I'm having to eat some crow on this one, but frankly, I'm happy to be doing so.

A perfect storm

So, what went right? Well, to be honest, just about everything. First and foremost, Cruise remains one of our last true movie stars who on his own strength can make a movie a hit. He's a dying breed, but he's still got a lot of gas in the tank. It's also very important to point out that director Joseph Kosinski's sequel currently boasts a 96% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes to go with a stupid good 99% audience rating. Not to mention that A+ CinemaScore. This is a crowd-pleaser in every sense of the word.

Yes, we can't discount nostalgia here, as that surely drove a lot of moviegoers out. But the fact of the matter is not just any sequel to "Top Gun" would have performed this well. By every measure, Kosinski and Paramount made a great movie that fortunately happened to be tied to one of the biggest hits of the 80s, with one of the biggest stars on the planet. This was a recipe for success the likes of which just doesn't come around all that often.

The Bob's Burgers Movie didn't do so hot

In less stellar news, "The Bob's Burgers Movie" opened to just $12.4 million, coming in at number three for the weekend. Counting Monday, its total grows to $14.8 million, but given the reported $60 million budget, that's far from great. Needless to say, this is not going to be "The Simpsons Movie," which grossed a massive $536 million worldwide back in 2007. Times have changed, and even though the Belcher family has a great deal of appeal, it may not be enough to justify a budget that large for a cinematic endeavor.

The shame of it is that critics were very much on board with the film. On the plus side, if it can pull in some audiences internationally and doesn't fall off a cliff next weekend, it may be able to at least recoup its budget and then find its audience on Hulu once it goes to streaming. It may not be a total loss for Disney/20th Century Studios, but it's just not going to be anywhere near a hit.

And the rest...

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" managed to hold the number two spot, pulling in $15.8 million through Sunday. Its global total now stands at $872.7 million. It's slowing down fast and may not get to $1 billion, but it's still a giant hit for the MCU and quite impressive for a "Doctor Strange" movie. Falling to number four was "Downton Abbey: A New Era," which dropped 64.1% for a $5.7 million second weekend total. It's now at $70 million worldwide and still has a shot at touching $100 million depending on how well it holds overseas.

"The Bad Guys" rounded out the top five with $4.3 million, despite being available on VOD already. Universal's animated flick should cross $200 million worldwide any day now, making this a decent little hit for the studio. "Everything Everywhere All At Once" continued its impressive theatrical run with another $2.5 million, bringing its total to $57.5 million domestic and $66.6 million worldwide. It should see $75 million or more before its run is through.

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" pulled in another $2.4 million, despite being available on Paramount+ now, putting its total at $385.3 million. Again, great news for Paramount! On that same front, "The Lost City" earned $1.8 million and has crossed $100 million domestic, with $102.2 million to its name. Worldwide, the rom-com is at $181.4 million. Paramount is winning in every way a studio can win right now. That's the big story of the year, as far as I'm concerned. But we've got plenty of weeks to come and movies waiting to be released, so stay tuned.