Moviegoers felt the need for speed over Memorial Day weekend.
The long-delayed sequel Top Gun: Maverick grossed a massive $156 million over the four-day holiday weekend, the best debut for any Memorial Day release ever. The previous record was held by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, which opened to $153 million in 2007. This was also easily the biggest opening for a movie starring Tom Cruise, surpassing $64 million for War of the Worlds.
Maverick's success was a great sign for movie theaters as the crucial summer movie season kicks off. The box office has seen a number of successful blockbusters over the past year, including Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Batman. But it was especially notable that Top Gun was such a success seeing as, unlike many of the biggest recent blockbuster hits, it's not a superhero movie.
Paramount also said over half of the audience who went to see Maverick this weekend was over 35. For comparison, only 31 percent of The Batman's opening weekend audience consisted of moviegoers over 35, according to Deadline. Maverick's opening, then, was also a win for getting older audiences to return to the movies, a hopeful sign for non-superhero films slated for this summer including Jordan Peele's Nope and Baz Luhrmann's Elvis.
National Association of Theatre Owners CEO John Fithian argued to The New York Times, in fact, that Maverick's big opening should officially end "the debate about a full recovery" at the box office.