“Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” (Paramount) showed initial strength with a $20.4 million combined Thursday night and Friday gross. The $150 million production is likely to show major international strength to boost it into profit, but these numbers are also strong. It is the best start for a Tom Cruise-starring film (adjusting ticket prices) since “M:I 3” in 2006, although with the caveat that “Ghost Protocol” in 2011 open in 425 IMAX theaters exclusively in 2011 its first weekend. Still, this is above expectations and good news for Paramount.
This is about $4 million better than the debut of “Mad Max: Fury Road” in May in a slightly more competitive, summer vacation playtime. Even more impressive, it is only $6 million less than “Terminator: Genisys” amassed on its first three days (it opened on Wednesday, and its Friday was a holiday).
“M.I. 5” more than quadrupled the gross of “Vacation” (Warner Bros.), the #2 film and the week’s other new wide release. The updating of the once-popular Griswold family comedy series took in $4.5 million yesterday. That brings its disappointing three-day haul to just under $11 million.
Equaling last year’s total for the same weekend was going to be an impossible mission, since that saw the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and a nearly $39 million first day that alone came close to the Top Ten total of $45 million yesterday (the 2014 figure was $60 million). But there weren’t just lower numbers at the top. Holdovers across the board dropped by an above average amount, suggesting that after a strong summer and an especially strong surge since mid-June, the heat has broken and numbers are less exciting.
Three second-week films all had disappointing drops. Adam Sandler’s “Pixels” (Sony), #1 last weekend, could only manage fifth place yesterday with $3,150,000, way down from $9.1 million. “Southpaw” (Weinstein) in seventh did $2.3 million, a bigger-than-expected fall from its $6.2 million start. The weakest of them all was “Paper Towns” (20th Century Fox), eighth with $1.6 million, a decline of over 70%.
Longer run hits filled in the other positions. Nearly tied for third, “Ant-Man” (Buena Vista) just edged out “Minions” (Universal) at around $3.6 million. “Trainwreck” (Universal) took seventh with $2.9 million, “Inside Out” (Buena Vista) came in ninth with $1.3 million, while “Jurassic World” (Universal) rounded out the Top Ten with $1 million.