Nothing short of awe swept through Hollywood over the June 3-5 weekend as Tom Cruise's Top Gun: Maverick dropped a mere 29 percent from its Memorial Day release thanks to spectacular word of mouth.

That's the lowest drop in history for a movie opening at $100 million or more, and a small drop for any movie, according to Comscore. A 50 percent decrease would have been considered excellent, or even 55 percent. The larger a Hollywood tent opens, the more inclined it is to fall 60 percent or more.

Take Marvel and Disney's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, for example, which in its fifth weekend on Sunday became the first film of 2022 to cross the $900 million mark at the worldwide box office despite a drop of 67 percent in its second premiere.

So what does this all mean? For the first time in his four-decade career, Tom Cruise, 59, has a movie that has a real shot at joining the billion-dollar club at the global box office.

At a minimum, it will eventually become his highest-grossing film, unadjusted for inflation. And the $170 million films is already turning a profit for the studio, as it broke even at around $410 million to $420 million at the box office.

In its first 10 days, Paramount and Skydance's Top Gun: Maverick, fueled by moviegoers of all ages and a coveted A+ CinemaScore, has earned an estimated $295.6 million in North America and $257 million overseas for a global haul of over $552 million, already making it one of the actor's highest-grossing titles.

"Having this kind of success at this point in his career is amazing," says an executive at a rival studio. Box office sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Top Gun 2 is set to gross more than $900 million globally, including $500 million or more in North America. They say the only reason it may not hit $1 billion is the absence of a launch from China and Russia.

Cruise's biggest movie worldwide is Mission: Impossible — Fallout, which grossed $571.5 million overseas for a worldwide total of $791 million in 2018. Top Gun 2 will also gloss over Mission: Impossible. — 2011's Ghost Protocol ($694.7 million), Mission: Impossible — 2015's Rogue Nation ($682.7 million), and 2005's The War of the Worlds ($603 million).

On Saturday, Top Gun: Maverick became Cruise's highest-grossing movie domestically when it surpassed War of the Worlds ($243.3 million). That's after spending the first Top Gun ($180.3 million) and Mission: Impossible - Fallout ($220.2 million).

Internationally, Top Gun: Maverick is already well ahead of the $176 million earned by the first Top Gun.

Top Gun: Maverick could prove to be a big push for the next Mission: Impossible movie, Dead Reckoning, Part One. Paramount and Skydance open the film on July 14, 2023. “Top Gun 2 has introduced a new generation of Tom Cruise ”, says the source. It is a wise observation.