Long Range Box Office Forecast: Top Gun: Maverick and Bob’s Burgers

Photo Credits: Paramount Pictures & Claudio Miranda ("Top Gun: Maverick")

This year’s Memorial Day box office is poised to fly high with the long anticipated release of Tom Cruise and Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick over the lucrative holiday frame as the early summer slate rolls forward.

That same weekend will also see the release of 20th Century Studios’ Bob’s Burgers, an adaptation of the popular running television series.

Meanwhile, the most current tracking for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is also represented in the chart below. The hugely anticipated Marvel Studios tentpole will open in one week. During Disney’s Wednesday presentation at CinemaCon, it was reported the film has already sold over $42 million worth of advance ticket sales in North America. That’s on target with the projected pace baked into last week’s forecast update.

Top Gun: Maverick
Paramount Pictures
May 27, 2022

PROS:

  • The original 1986 film was a pop culture icon that helped define a generation of movie fans and cemented Tom Cruise’s growth into one of history’s most successful and enduring Hollywood stars.

    Grossing nearly $177 million in its original domestic run, the film was the highest box office grosser of its year and would adjust to more than $475 million adjusting for today’s inflation rates and ticket prices.
  • Top Gun: Maverick has consistently driven strong social media and trailer traction since the first teaser was released in July 2019, followed by a subsequent trailer in December that year. Praise is strongest for the film’s nostalgic appeal as well as Cruise’s trademark, real-world stunts and in-camera capture of dazzling action scenes. Models are notably ahead of all Mission: Impossible comps at the same point in the pre-release cycle..
  • A strong ensemble cast should further back Cruise’s marquee star power, a factor that current models indicate could move the needle in an even more progressive direction for women over 35 and their return to movie theaters this year. The recent success of films such as The Lost City and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 signal such an attendance rebound among women and mothers.

    Cruise is known to be a strong domestic and international draw with that demographic, evidenced by Mission: Impossible – Fallout‘s 45 percent female and 59 percent age 35+ shares in 2018 — the former of which is above average for a male-driven action franchise.
  • With the enduring success of the Mission: Impossible franchise in mind, a return to the Top Gun universe has long been anticipated by Cruise’s generations of fans — particularly among Generation X, who this sequel will play strongest with. The film could bring back a significant share of the adult audience who have slowly returned to cinemas over the past year.
  • Despite a number of pandemic-induced delays, Maverick has consistently ranked among the most anticipated tentpoles to release exclusively in theaters with a true big-screen experience promised by Cruise and the marketing campaign. A committed PLF run, IMAX included, will be a major component of its box office run.
  • Early CinemaCon screening reactions have been beyond enthusiastic from industry reporters and bloggers, backing up long-term expectations over the past three years that this film might be a true cinematic experience that could tap into the cultural zeitgeist.
  • Lady Gaga’s new single, “Hold My Hand”, could be a further boon toward the goal of expanding Maverick‘s appeal to all demographics — not unlike the soundtrack success of the original film.

CONS:

  • Reviews and word of mouth outside industry screenings will be key, as always, especially for a film targeted toward adults over 35 — barring an unexpected breakout among younger consumers.
  • The aforementioned CinemaCon screening, objectively speaking, played to a crowd largely comprised of over-35ers who grew up with the original film and have a distinct fondness for it. While their reactions could be an indicator of ultimate potential, we must also weigh the lingering possibility that this film might play more like a James Bond film to under-35 and under-25 consumers.
  • With Jurassic World: Dominion opening in this film’s third weekend, Maverick will have two weeks of exclusive IMAX and other PLF engagements to maximize before a fairly competitive June slate takes hold. That’s a decent window, but the competition will ramp up considerably with another generational franchise sequel following not long after in a market still testing its new boundaries during the late stages of the pandemic.

Bob’s Burgers
20th Century Studios (Disney)
May 27, 2022

PROS:

  • Based on the popular television series, this animated series is a counter-programmer to the Top Gun crowd with an eye toward drawing 30-and-under patrons. There aren’t many options for those seeking laughs with a short runtime in a theater until later in the summer, so that may present a window for moderate success here.

CONS:

  • Television adaptations have a mixed, and often lukewarm, history at the box office. Although 2007’s The Simpsons Movie might seem a fair comparison, Burgers isn’t quite in that echelon of iconic and widespread appeal — making this a more niche play in early summer that even some fans may expect to land on streaming fairly soon after release.

Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2022 Calendar
(as of 4/28/22)

Release Date Title 3-Day (FSS) Opening Low/High Range Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total Low/High Range Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week Distributor
5/6/2022 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness $190,000,000 – $215,000,000   $450,000,000 – $560,000,000   Disney / Marvel Studios
5/13/2022 Firestarter $6,000,000 – $11,000,000 -25% $12,000,000 – $28,000,000 -30% Universal Pictures
5/20/2022 Downton Abbey: A New Era $16,000,000 – $21,000,000   $45,000,000 – $65,000,000   Focus Features
5/20/2022 Men         A24
5/27/2022 Bob’s Burgers $7,000,000 – $12,000,000   $14,000,000 – $30,000,000   Disney / 20th Century Studios
5/27/2022 Top Gun: Maverick $95,000,000 – $130,000,000   $255,000,000 – $390,000,000   Paramount Pictures

All above figures represent best and worst case scenarios for how each respective film is currently tracking based on existing market conditions and projected model fluctuation before release. These are not final forecasts.

Pinpoint opening weekend and domestic total projections are available exclusively to Boxoffice PRO clients. For more information on forecasts, pricing, and availability, please contact us.

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