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‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout’ Didn’t Break Any Records — and That’s OK

It’s still a strong start for the franchise, which should have a long life. “Mamma Mia,” not so much.

“Mission: Impossible — Fallout”

Paramount Pictures

With $61.5 million, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”  easily took top position this weekend. The sixth entry in the “Mission: Impossible” series performed on a level consistent with past efforts; adjusted to 2018 ticket prices, it ranks fifth of the five titles released wide initially, slightly below “Rogue Nation.” (“Ghost Protocol” had an IMAX-only initial release).

This is repeat of the successful “Oceans 8” a few weeks ago, when unadjusted opening grosses put it ahead of earlier “Oceans” films. It was a distraction to the real story of a female reboot performing well. Similarly, the opening number here doesn’t need the claim of best in series to be called a hit.

Whatever its relative placement among the “Mission” films (or its lead Tom Cruise – adjusted #7 among his films over his long career), it’s a reasonable start. And its $92 million international initial result (with most of the rest of the world yet to open) suggests this could be a $600 million+ worldwide performer on par with “Rogue Nation.”

“Mission: Impossible – Fallout”

That’s vital for Paramount, which backed the $178 million production, by far the most important in its limited stable. And also for Cruise, who remains vital and a major draw for these films even if his star is fading otherwise (see: “American Made” and “The Mummy”).

What remains to be seen is whether this — the best reviewed in the series, ranking near the top of any studio release this year in terms of critical response — will have the same strong 3.5 multiple as “Rogue Nation.”

That would get this to $210 million, which is about James Bond series did last time out. “Spectre” grossed $213 million adjusted; though bigger worldwide, “Mission” looks about the same in domestic returns, with somewhat lower budgets and a less iconic reputation. The A Cinemascore is the best in franchise history, suggesting strong word of mouth.

The second new wide release was the animated “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.” This low-budget animated title, which originated on the Cartoon Network, had a routine $10.5 million start, with a long life ahead past its theatrical play.

Total grosses for the weekend came in around $155 million, up from $144 million last year. Sequels and franchise titles comprised about 84 percent of the total, down from last weekend’s possible record of 88 percent. Year to date is up just over eight percent, a drop from the 10 percent improvement when the month began.

Universal

The case for sequels took a hit with drops for last week’s top two entries. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” dropped 57 percent; the original only fell 36 percent, and held its declines to under 40 percent for its first nine weeks on the way to a more than five-times multiple. This time around, it looks to end up just under three times (around $100 million). Several large territories remain to open, so $250 million additional worldwide should put this medium-budget film into profit, but not enough to suggest more “Mamma Mia” ahead.

Denzel Washington’s surprisingly strong “The Equalizer 2” apears badly hurt by the male-audience dominated “Fallout.” Its 61 percent drop is far more than the 45 percent seen for the 2014 original, and suggests it will gross around $90 million. Most of the world has yet to open, but this will need to have at least an equal gross overseas to break even.

At just under 40 percent decreases, the two biggest hits on the list fell the least of all titles. “Incredibles 2” continues its drive to $600 million, while “Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom” is just under $400 million. Combined, they will score over $1 billion worldwide, with “Jurassic” ahead by over $200 million. Both evidence, of course, for continued reliance on franchise and sequels.

The Top Ten

1. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Paramount) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 86; Est. budget: $180 million

$61,500,000 in 4,386 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $14,022; Cumulative: $61,500,000

2. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Universal) Week 2; Last weekend #2

$15,000,000 (-57%) in 3,514 theaters (+197); PTA: $4,269; Cumulative: $70,426,000

3. The Equalizer 2 (Sony) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$14,000,000 (-61%) in 3,388 theaters (no change); PTA: $4,132; Cumulative: $64,231,000

4. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (Sony) Week 3; Last weekend #3

$12,305,000 (-48%) in 4,005 theaters (-262); PTA: $; Cumulative: $

5. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (Warner Bros.) NEW – Cinemascore: B-; Metacritic: 70; Est. budget: $10 million

$10,510,000 in 3,188 theaters; PTA: $3,297; Cumulative: $10,510,000

6. Ant-Man and the Wasp (Disney) Week 4; Last weekend #4

$8,400,000 (-49%) in 3,013 theaters (765); PTA: $2,788; Cumulative: $183,124,000

7. The Incredibles 2 (Disney) Week 7; Last weekend #5

$7,157,000 (-40%) in 2,616 theaters (-548); PTA: $2,736; Cumulative: $572,781,000

8. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Universal) Week 6; Last weekend #7

$6,775,000 (-%) in 2,685 theaters (-696); PTA: $2,523; Cumulative: $397,556,000

9. Skyscraper (Lionsgate) Week 3; Last weekend #6

$5,400,000 (-52%) in 2,773 theaters (-1,049); PTA: $1,947; Cumulative: $59,153,000

10. The First Purge (Universal) Week 4; Last weekend #8

$2,230,000 (-56%) in 1,400 theaters (-931); PTA: $1,593; Cumulative: $65,486,000

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