OK, so I’m sitting at work tonight and my weekly Box Office Mojo Theater Counts report appears. Right at the top under “New” is, of course, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (what’s the deal on that colon?) In case you didn’t know, Paramount is opening its latest Tom Cruise blockbuster wide, really wide. To the tune of 4,054 freakin’ screens! To someone who remembers when 2000 screens was a big deal (not that long ago I believe), that number is staggering. And it’s not even Summer yet–good luck to any smaller films or indies trying to get on screen at the multiplex from now until mid-August.
To be honest, though the second one has completely faded from my memory like I was hypnotized to purge it, I may have to check this one out eventually. The great Philip Seymour Hoffman should be a fun bad guy, and as a fan of J.J. Abrams’ TV work (“Lost”, “Alias”, and yes, even “Felicity”), I am intrigued by what the man can do with $150 million and a tired formula. But no matter how precise the studio is in gauging the demand for the film (and unfortunately they’re probably right), that number of screens is simply obscene.