Earlier this weekend, I commented to someone that I wouldn’t be surprised if Mission: Impossible III earned about $80 million in its opening three days. The facts: $80 million is a decent enough uptick compared to what the previous two opened with… plus it’s the first big summer blockbuster, the reviews have been primarily positive, and the marketing machine for the film is in ridiculously high gear. Now, it’s Sunday afternoon, and it looks like the film will open with a decent – but not relatively strong – $48 million. Considering the last Mission: Impossible film had a $60 million weekend, this is not great news. And, when looking at the last big-budget, male-centric Hollywood blockbuster (King Kong) and its disappointing overall biz, this could be a scary omen for the summer ahead.
What went wrong? It really can’t be the whole Katie Holmes thing, can it? Did the target audience really care about that enough? Though, while looking at The Superficial, maybe PR opportunities like this one (of Tom Cruise trying to dance on BET) had more to do with it. Getting Kanye West to record your film’s theme song can be completely negated when you make a fool of yourself like this. BET audiences don’t care if you jump on Oprah’s couch… just don’t try to dance on it, either, Tom Cruise.