Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Mission: Impossible Holds On To Top Spot

Plus, Fantastic Four reaches #2, The Gift earns third, and Shaun the Sheep opens just outside the top ten.

by | August 9, 2015 | Comments

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This weekend, Tom Cruise kept his box office title as the veteran actor’s latest hit Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation spent its second straight weekend at number one beating a handful of new releases including the new super hero offering Fantastic Four, which stumbled into second place. The latest Ethan Hunt adventure grossed an estimated $29.4M, dropping an encouraging 47%. That is a terrific hold for an action sequel, as MI5 has been benefitting from strong word-of-mouth from those who have seen it already. The cume rose to $108.7M with 369 IMAX screens contributing a high 14% of the total at $15.5M.

All five Mission: Impossible films have now spent exactly two weekends at number one. Four did it during their first two frames while 2011’s Ghost Protocol did an IMAX-only debut and then spent its second and third weekends in the top spot that holiday season once in full wide release. The 19-year-old spy franchise is still relevant with today’s moviegoers and once again a solid and entertaining product is drawing in customers.

Rogue Nation opened in 18 more overseas markets and collected a stellar $65.5M this weekend from 58 total territories to boost Paramount’s international cume to $156.7M and the global haul to $265.4M. With major markets like France, Brazil, and Italy still to open this month followed by China on September 8, MI5 looks on course to make over $700M worldwide which would be a new career high for Tom Cruise.

The new action entry Fantastic Four suffered one of the worst openings ever for a major Marvel super hero property, grossing an estimated $26.2M which was less than half of what the two previous films in the franchise opened to. Panned by film critics, the PG-13 pic averaged only $6,558 from 3,995 locations for Fox falling well below what comic book movies do in the prime summer season.

This reboot was clobbered by poor reviews which repelled audiences. Those who did buy tickets agreed and gave a thumbs down. The CinemaScore grade was a lousy C-, and other metrics also showed among the lowest scores for any Hollywood film this summer. Moviegoers made a strong statement this weekend, telling studios that they will not come out and spend money on super hero movies that are not well-made and exciting. Marvel and DC should listen up, given the long list of big-budget comic book movies they have scheduled over the next several years.

Fantastic Four played 60% male according to studio data with younger appeal making the split between those over and under 25 almost even. With a huge 25% tumble on Saturday from Friday, the road ahead looks bleak with the domestic final possibly ending up in the $60-65M range. Last summer’s Marvel super hero team flicks X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy made more than that in just their first two days of release. Both were loved by critics and audiences alike.

New distributor STX enjoyed a solid opening for its first release, the psychological thriller The Gift, which landed in third with an estimated $12M from 2,503 sites for a good $4,794 average. The R-rated Jason Bateman pic played 53% female and 73% over 25 and earned rave reviews across the board. Budgeted at only $5M, Gift was not as well-liked by paying audiences, as evidenced by the so-so B grade from CinemaScore, but even with average legs this one should recoup its production and marketing costs in the near future.

The R-rated road comedy Vacation dropped a reasonable 38% in its second weekend to an estimated $9.1M. Opening mid-week helped lessen the sophomore fall and buzz has been so-so despite weak reviews. Warner Bros. sits at $37.3M which is roughly half of what the studio’s August road comedy hit We’re the Millers did two years ago over the same period.

Spending its fourth weekend in the top five was the Marvel hero Ant-Man with an estimated $7.8M, falling only 39% despite the launch of another super hero flick. Disney has banked $147.4M to date and the global tally has shot up to $326.3M with lucrative Asian markets Korea, Japan, and China still to open.

Jumping over the triple-century mark this weekend was the animated smash Minions which slipped 40% to an estimated $7.4M putting Universal at a stellar $302.7M to date. The worldwide haul vaulted past the $900M mark over the weekend and now stands at $912.5M making it the number seven toon of all-time globally. Minions should crack $1 billion before it even opens in China on September 13.

Critics were not all that happy with three-time Oscar queen Meryl Streep’s latest film Ricki and the Flash, which opened in seventh place with an estimated $7M from 1,603 locations for a moderate $4,367 average. Sony’s PG-13 rocker pic played heavily to older women, as expected, with studio data showing the crowd to be 70% female and 78% over 30. Mixed reviews hurt, as did healthy competition from adult drama The Gift, which was praised by critics and offered more cross-gender appeal. With a decent B CinemaScore, an older skew, an addition of 400 screens next week, and the lazy days of August ahead, Ricki may still have some legs.

Young women continued to rally behind Amy Schumer’s breakout comedy hit Trainwreck which slipped only 34% to an estimated $6.3M giving Universal $91.1M to date. Add in the hits Spy and Pitch Perfect 2 and the ladies have been dominating the comedy world this summer. Adam Sandler’s Pixels dropped 48% to an estimated $5.4M putting Sony at $57.6M with the global total now at $130.6M. Boxing drama Southpaw rounded out the top ten with an estimated $4.8M, off 38%, for a $40.7M cume for The Weinstein Co.

There was also notable activity below the top ten. The new animated film Shaun the Sheep opened to soft numbers with an estimated $4M for the weekend and $5.6M since its Wednesday launch. The PG-rated entry was showered with praise from film critics, but families looked at this one as a rental to watch later at a lower price point. Lionsgate saw a dull three-day average of only $1,724 from 2,320 locations for the Aardman pic.

Summer behemoths fell from the top ten but still lifted their impressive totals higher. Disney’s Inside Out has amassed $335.4M domestically and $635.5M worldwide with more major territories like China still to come. Universal’s Jurassic World, 2015’s number one smash, sits at $635.6M in North America and a stunning $1.58 billion worldwide. It opened in its final market of Japan this weekend to a muscular $13M over five days with more to come.

FUNimation saw success with its specialized release of the Japanese anime blockbuster Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ which opened on Tuesday with showings only on select days. This weekend, its one-day gross from just Saturday was $1.4M raising the cume to $5.6M from 922 theaters. The PG-rated film will continue to play through Wednesday of this week.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $115.5M which was down 32% from last year when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opened at number one with $65.6M; and down 16% from 2013 when Elysium opened in the top spot with $29.8M.

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