Paramount and Tom Cruise are soaring above the clouds. The Top Gun sequel earned $30.5 million in its fifth weekend, tying Elvis’s $30.5 million debut. That is the second-biggest earning for a weekend gross, barely beating out Titanic ($30 million) but quite behind Avatar ($42 million). With a fantastic debut in South Korea, great legs, and over $520 million domestically, Tom Cruise’s legacy sequel has earned $1.006 billion worldwide at the box office.
Forget Jurassic World Dominion’s chances, as I believed a while ago; this is THE film to beat for the crown for the remainder of 2022. Once it passes Rogue One, The Dark Knight, and The Lion King (2019), it’ll become the 12th-highest-earning film domestically. Could it top Incredibles 2’s $608 million? With legs like this, we still cannot rule that possibility out. Remember, this feature is getting James Cameron’s sizeable legs amid summer, with blockbusters launching every other weekend.
The only films left to start scaring it off are Minions 2, Thor 4, Nope, and (maybe) Bullet Train. Reviews and the summer heat will also factor in, but not many will worry about COVID when a particular jurisdiction ruling took place. Independence Day weekend will give Maverick one last boost before it deals with the MCU’s latest entry, Jordan Peele’s third motions picture, and Brad Pitt’s return to the multiplex.
It is the 50th movie to gross $1 billion and the largest domestic and global earner of 2022. One of the last significant records for it to pass is topping Joker’s $1.073 billion. Upon doing so, it’ll be the second biggest “never played in China” grosser behind Spider-Man: No Way Home ($1.9 billion). It’s Cruise’s most significant film and confirms that people will show up for generational features like Avatar, Black Panther, The Avengers, American Sniper, and The Passion of the Christ. Your move next summer, Mission Impossible 7.
Elvis tied with Maverick in its opening weekend, thanks to a positive word of mouth and Austin Butler/Tom Hanks pulling in star-making performances. It secured the biggest drama opening in over two years, coincidentally coming an entire decade after Magic Mike took $39 million. It’s hard to say what kind of legs it’ll have, but a worse cast scenario puts it to at least $80 million domestically. If it legs like Rocketman or Bohemian Rhapsody, that’s a win. Credit to Warner Brothers for turning this unconventional blockbuster into a full-fledged theatrical hit.
The Black Phone took in $23.3 million in its opening weekend and $35.9 million worldwide. Already breaking even, this horror movie has time to continue going the distance for the next few weekends (to around $70-80 million domestic). A firm word of mouth, the Blumhouse branding, and Scott Derrickson dipping back into his horror roots make this fantasy escapism something to distract us from other real-world issues.
Jurassic World Dominion earned $26.4 million in its third weekend, a drop on par with its predecessor’s $28 million third weekend). Jurassic Park 6 is slightly under $750 million, so getting to $1 billion might stand as a bridge too far. Nostalgia was only going to do so much, but when you botch the landing on a 30-year film series, it will push more folks to other offerings. So, it’ll be aiming for $900 million worldwide at least when its course has run (which isn’t terrible).
This weekend could’ve been the first since July 2016 where the top five films earned $20 million, but that didn’t happen as Lightyear tumbled 65%. The Toy Story spin-off earned $17.7 million on its second weekend, while now sitting at $153 million worldwide. Perhaps this dropped because Disney has gotten overeager as of late in dropping their films immediately to Disney+. Very difficult to reason that COVID dismantled their latest Pixar treat when Maverick has been rolling exceptionally, and Dominion can earn great numbers despite appalling reviews. At least Toy Story 5 isn’t sabotaged (yet).
Finally, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has grossed $950 million worldwide, despite heading to Disney+ last week. It also passed the domestic cumes of Captain America: Civil War and Iron Man 3. For a (non-Avengers) sequel that jumped 40% from its predecessor’s earnings while remaining extremely frontloaded, this remains a win for Benedict Cumberbatch and Sam Raimi. Thor: Love and Thunder might have a word to say about it once it drops on July 8th.
Prepare for the end of June 2022 and the arrival of Minions: Rise of Gru over Independence Day weekend.