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“Top Gun” is back.
After a two-year delay, “Top Gun: Maverick” hits theaters around the world on Friday. The release of the action movie figures will be a big moment for box office recovery during the coronavirus pandemic.
The film’s star, Tom Cruise, is set to have his biggest career opening, with a four-day gross of at least $92 million, per official tracking. Cruise’s 2005 “War of the Worlds” holds the spot of his first national opening with a three-day gross of $64.9 million.
Cruise’s second-best movie opening was “Mission Impossible – Fallout,” released in 2018. According to Comscore, the movie fetched $61.2 million. All of the star’s other films have opened with less than $60 million.
TOM CRUISE ARRIVES AT “TOP GUN” SEQUEL PREMIERE IN SAN DIEGO VIA HELICOPTER
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ hits theaters 36 years after the original ‘Top Gun’ was released in 1986. Cruise marketed his new film heavily by attending premieres in San Diego, the Cannes Film Festival, a royal screening in London and a premiere. in Japan.
For the San Diego premiere, Cruise arrived by helicopter. The 59-year-old movie star’s helicopter landed on the retired aircraft carrier USS Midway in San Diego. The helicopter bore Cruise’s name and the “Top Gun: Maverick” logo.
Cruise, dressed in a suit and wearing aviators, waved to fans as he exited the helicopter.
From the start, Cruise made it clear that “Top Gun: Maverick” would “never” hit streaming services, despite being delayed for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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“Maverick” was originally slated for release in July 2019 via Paramount Pictures but was delayed to August 2018 “to allow production to work through all of the intricate flight sequences,” according to Deadline.
When asked if he felt any pressure to release the film in any capacity on a streaming network, Cruise assured that would “never” happen.
“That would never happen,” he laughed in excerpts published by The Hollywood Reporter. “That would never happen.”
He remembers picking up a phone and calling each cast member every time the film’s release date was pushed back to reassure everyone to stay calm and stay focused on what they had created.
Cruise recalls telling his co-stars, “Don’t worry, it’s going to happen.”
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Days before the worldwide shutdown in March 2020, Paramount moved the film two days earlier for a June 24, 2020 release, but that was later pushed back to December 23. In July 2020, the film received another new one-year schedule change due to the coronavirus, with Cruise’s schedule and “Mulan” and “Tenet” set to release on the same days.
The studio’s scheduling issues continued when the film was pushed back again to April 2021 for a November release and again to September 2021, when executives finally landed on May 27, 2022.
In the film, directed by Joseph Kosinski, there is a new mission to be won and dogfights to be fought. But this time, the task of “Top Gun” seems even heavier. It’s here to prove in a CGI, Marvel world that a propulsive brand of filmmaking fueled by star power, practical effects, and cinematic prowess can still invoke the need for speed.
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“Top Gun: Maverick” premieres Friday worldwide.
Fox News’ Tracy Wright and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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