‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and 9 More Tom Cruise Movies With the Best Opening Weekends

This is an article about the Tom Cruise movies with the best opening weekends, so we have to state the obvious: Top Gun: Maverick is the winner. Cruise took some undeserved criticism for making the sequel to his 1986 hit — and the director had to convince him to make the movie — but Maverick opened at $126 million in North America (per Variety). That’s the best start of any film in Cruise’s career and a testament to his approach as an actor and producer. The well-reviewed Maverick cashed in during its first weekend, and now we’re looking at the nine films in Maverick’s jet wash. These are the 10 Cruise movies with the best opening weekends.

A few notes: We only considered starring roles (so no Austin Powers in Goldmember or Tropic Thunder). All figures are adjusted to 2022 dollars using an online inflation calculator. Original opening weekend figures courtesy of IMDb.

Tom Cruise at the royal premiere of 'Top Gun: Maverick' in 2022. 'Maverick' is the Cruise movie with the best opening weekend, but several of the actor's other films scored big at the box office.
Tom Cruise attends the ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ royal film performance in 2022 | Neil Mockford/FilmMagic

10. ‘The Firm’: $50.8 million

  •  Release date: June 30, 1993

The first of several movies based on John Grisham novels saw Cruise lead a strong cast that included Hal Holbrook, Ed Harris, Gene Hackman, Jeanne Tripplehorn, best supporting actress nominee Holly Hunter, and others. The Firm hauled in a respectable $25.4 million its opening weekend; in 2022 dollars, the figure is twice as much.

9. ‘Minority Report’: $57.3 million

  •  Release date: June 21, 2002

After directing the more thoughtful sci fi movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence in 2001, Steven Spielberg hooked up with Cruise for Minority Report the following year. Cruise’s character, John Anderton, goes on the run when he is accused of committing a murder before it happens in this futuristic thriller. It opened with $36.7 million and earned $358.3 million in 2002.

8. ‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’: $67.7 million

  •  Release date: July 31, 2015

The fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise sees Cruise perform two of his craziest movie stunts: Dangling from the side of a cargo plane as it takes off and a six-minute underwater dive Cruise performed without breathing equipment. Audiences turned out for it — Rogue Nation banked more than $55 million its first weekend on its way to more than $680 million total.

7. ‘Mission: Impossible III’: $68.4 million

  •  Release date: May 5, 2006

Cruise’s third turn as Impossible Mission Force agent Ethan Hunt cleared $47 million during its first weekend in 2006, translating to more than $68 million in 2022. It was another box-office highlight in the long-running franchise, but that wasn’t the only measure of the movie’s success. Cruise earned a new fan in co-star Maggie Q, who called him a leader because of his inclusivity and enthusiasm on set.

6. ‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout’: $70.5 million

  •  Release date: July 27, 2018

Cruise’s previous movie before Top Gun: Maverick saw him perform one of the riskiest stunts of his career — a HALO (high-altitude, low-opening) jump that required hundreds of hours of practice and extreme precision while filming. The sixth Mission: Impossible movie won with audiences (again) as it banked $61 million in 2018.

5. ‘Interview With the Vampire’: $70.9 million

  •  Release date: Nov. 11, 1994

Interview With the Vampire was the last in a series of more dramatic roles for Cruise, a run that included Far and Away, A Few Good Men, Rain Man, and The Firm. He suffered constant, humiliating attacks from Anne Rice, the author of the book series behind the movie, but it remains one of the Cruise movies with the best opening weekends. It took in more than $36 million when it debuted in late 1994.

4. ‘Mission: Impossible’: $83.7 million

  •  Release date: May 22, 1996

The one that started it all. Director Brian DePalma ushered the one-time TV series to the big screen with Cruise in the lead, and audiences loved it. It brought in more than $45 million in its first weekend, which was the best opening for a Cruise movie to that point in his career.

3. ‘War of the Worlds’: $96 million

  •  Release date: June 29, 2005

Cruise and Spielberg re-teamed for another sci fi movie just three years after Minority Report, and they created another blockbuster. War of the Worlds opened with $64.8 million in 2005, which remained the Cruise movie with the best opening weekend (in terms of unadjusted gross) until Maverick

2. ‘Mission: Impossible II’: $97.1 million

  •  Release date: May 24, 2000

It’s the black sheep of the Mission: Impossible franchise that every M: I movie since has avoided acknowledging, but audiences didn’t know that going in. The sequel earned $57.8 million during its first weekend, but fans had to wait six years for the follow-up.

1. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’: $126.7 million

  •  Release date: May 27, 2022

There might be several things wrong with Top Gun: Maverick, but audiences don’t care. The director had to convince Cruise to make the movie, but despite the time between the original and sequel and release delays didn’t dampen fans’ enthusiasm. The $126.7 million North American debut was by far the best opening weekend for any Cruise movie.

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