Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Tom Cruise Claims the Top Spot With Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

by | August 2, 2015 | Comments

Now in his fourth decade of anchoring number-one action hits, Tom Cruise hit the top spot with the launch of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, the fifth film in the lucrative spy franchise, with an estimated $56 million. Averaging a terrific $14,156 from 3,956 locations, the PG-13 pic saw a high 15 percent of the weekend business come from IMAX screens. Rogue Nation follows Ghost Protocol, which reinvigorated the series in 2011 after 2006’s MI3 was an underperformer.

Budgeted at $150 million — a respectable level for a five-quel anchored by a major star — the pic drew rave reviews from film critics and also satisfied the popcorn crowd as the CinemaScore was a solid A-. Saturday sales saw only a scant dip from Friday’s opening day figure which also included Thursday night pre-shows so word-of-mouth is encouraging. Studio data showed that the audience was 62 percent male and 81 percent over 25 — not surprising for an action sequel led by a superstar from the 1980s.

International markets rocked with Rogue Nation debuting to an estimated $65 million led by Korea’s $17.1 million, which was the second largest opening weekend of this year for a foreign film there, behind only the Avengers sequel. With a $121 million global launch, this new chapter will try to reach the heights of Ghost Protocol, which ended with nearly $700 million worldwide.

Warner Bros. stumbled with its new R-rated comedy Vacation, which bowed to an estimated $14.9 million from 3,411 theaters for a mild $4,354 average. A continuation of the Chevy Chase comedy franchise with the son as the central character earned weak reviews and did not impress paying audiences much either as it got a B CinemaScore grade. Unlike with the studio’s very successful R-rated road trip summer hit We’re the Millers, good word-of-mouth did not appear for Vacation from the mid-week launch, so the weekend period failed to enjoy a boost. The five-day gross was $21.2 million. As predicted a couple of months ago, this summer’s hit comedies have been coming from the female-led movies, not the male-led ones.

Two-time leader Ant-Man dropped to third place and grossed an estimated $12.6 million, off 49 percent. That decline is not bad considering a big action sequel entered the marketplace. Disney’s total is $132.1 million domestically and $291.6 million worldwide. Global smash Minions took fourth with an estimated $12.2 million, down 47 percent, and $287.3 million to date for Universal. Monster numbers keep coming in overseas with the worldwide tally now at a staggering $854.6 million with China and Italy still to come. Reaching $1.1 billion is very likely.

Adam Sandler’s latest summer comedy Pixels stumbled 57 percent in its second weekend to an estimated $10.4 million, giving Sony only $45.6 million to date. The $88 million effects-driven pic looks to reach about $70 million from North America and will need much cash from overseas markets to become a worthwhile investment. Trainwreck has been the comedy holding up well with audiences and dropped just 44 percent to an estimated $9.7 million for $79.7 million  to date for Universal on its way to about $110 million.

The well-liked boxing pic Southpaw took a hit in its second weekend falling 55 percent to an estimated $7.5 million, thanks in part to the arrival of a major adult-male-skewing offering in MI5. With $31.6 million to date, The Weinstein Co. may end with about $50 million. Fellow sophomore Paper Towns had no new competition for its young female crowd, but still took a nosedive tumbling 64 percent to an estimated $4.6 million. The Fox release has banked $23.8 million on its way to around $33 million and luckily was not an expensive entry.

Summer juggernauts attracting entire families rounded out the top ten. Pixar’s Inside Out slipped only 39 percent to an estimated $4.5 million upping its cume to $329.6 million. Universal’s Jurassic World collected an estimated $3.8 mllion, off 47 percent, and has amassed $631.5 million. Only one film in history has ever grossed more in its initial run — Avatar. Titanic’s lifetime take is higher than World’s, but that includes the 3D re-release from 2012. Impressive global tallies now stand at $602.3 million for Inside Out and $1.56 billion for Jurassic World, which opens in its final market of Japan later this week.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $136.2 million which was down 19 percent from last year when Guardians of the Galaxy opened at number one with an August record $94.3 million; but up 16 percent from 2013 when 2 Guns opened in the top spot with $27.1 million.

Compared to projections, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation opened on target with my $56 million forecast, while Vacation came in very close to my $16 million prediction.

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