Sunday, June 16, 2024

Mission Possible? Tom Cruise Hunts for First Ever $100 Mil Opening Weekend (in 40 Years) with “Top Gun: Maverick”


Tom Cruise — we got to know him 40 years ago in “Risky Business.” It was a hit, and so were his subsequent movies.

But Cruise, recently billed as “The Last Movie Star” (ridiculous), has never had a $100 million opening weekend.

He’s come close. “Mission Impossible 2” debuted with $97 million. “War of the Worlds” took in $96 million. But never that magic number.

That may all change beginning tonight. “Top Gun Maverick” has had the marketing, publicity, and reviews to make it his biggest blockbuster of his life.

He’s worked hard and had a star making machinery behind him the whole time. But the truth is, Cruise has not had that many $100 million films, period. Aside from the “Mission Impossible” series, Cruise rarely gets to that level with individual films. There were good ones like “American Made” and “Jerry Maguire.” There were some real clunkers like “Valkyrie,” “The Mummy,” “Oblivion,” “Vanilla Sky” and the 2nd “Jack Reacher” movie in 2016. But Cruise’s heyday of hitting just $100 million, a studio trick created by keeping a mediocre film in theaters until the last drop is squeezed out of it, is long over.

“Maverick,” followed by two “Mission Impossible” movies, is probably going to rewrite his opening weekend history. Indeed, the trailer for “MI 7,” which will play before “Maverick” starting tonight, should juice up the audience for a whole new Cruise generation — one that may not even associate him with Scientology.

We’ll see how things look tomorrow morning. PS “Opening weekend” is a broad statement here. “Maverick” will really get a five day weekend, opening night, then again tomorrow night, and adding Memorial Day Monday.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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