The new Top Gun movie has given Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise his first $100 million (£79m) opening weekend at the box office.
He reprises his role as US navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell from the 1986 film Top Gun: Maverick in Top Gun: Maverick.
The sequel grossed an estimated $124 million (£98 million) in its first three days in North American theatres, according to Paramount Pictures.
This number has been boosted to an estimated $248 million globally (196m).
“These are unbelievable, out-of-this-world numbers,” said Chris Aronson, Paramount’s president of domestic distribution.
“I am ecstatic for everyone.” I’m ecstatic for the company and the filmmakers, Tom.”
Cruise’s previous greatest opening weekend for a film was in 2005 when he made $64 million (£50 million) with War of the Worlds.
The 59-year-old’s stint as Maverick also had the fourth-largest opening of any film in the COVID era, trailing only Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and The Batman.
He was recently accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the UK premiere of the new flick.
As fans – young and old – prepared for the formal release of the sequel last Friday, the original picture soared above the competition, topping last Wednesday’s weekly UK film chart.
“It’s amazing to see Tom Cruise back in the skies after 36 years,” said Becca Monahan, commercial director of the Official Charts Company.
The British Association for Screen Entertainment’s chief executive, Liz Bales, concurred, saying she expects the sequel will “take cinema audiences’ breath away on the big screen” – a tribute to the Oscar-winning song from the first film.
The return of Top Gun: Maverick earlier this month was hailed by critics as a “barrier-breaking sequel.”
It was praised as a “real legacy sequel” by The Independent, which termed it “as exhilarating as blockbusters get.”
It was dubbed “absurdly exhilarating” and “unquestionably the best studio action film in years” by The Telegraph.