6:40am PT by Pamela McClintock
Box-Office Preview: 'Mission: Impossible — Fallout' Eyes $50M-Plus U.S. Debut
Paramount's Mission: Impossible — Fallout will easily win this weekend's box-office race. The big question is how close it comes to matching the $55.5 million domestic launch of the last film in the action franchise, starring Tom Cruise as indefatigable spy Ethan Hunt.
Glowing reviews could prove a major boost for the sixth outing in the film franchise. Presently, the $178 million pic boasts a 97 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the best score for a Mission: Impossible film, as well as for any Cruise film (the actor's next best is Risky Business with 96 percent).
Heading into the weekend, Hollywood's leading tracking service, NRG, shows Mission: Impossible 6 debuting to $50 million. Other services show it opening in the $52 million to $57 million range.
Overseas, the late-summer event film makes a major push timed to its U.S. launch, opening in its first 36 foreign markets. A release date has yet to be announced for China, where Cruise is a huge star.
Similar to other Hollywood event films, Mission: Impossible has increasingly pulled in huge grosses offshore. The last entry, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, opened to $55.5 million in late August 2015 on its way to grossing $195 million in North America and $487.7 million for a global total of $682.7 million.
The Mission: Impossible series has never attained the lofty heights of other well-known franchises in terms of box-office grosses, but many of the movies have been profitable for Paramount (and Cruise). Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, released in 2011, earned the most globally ($694.7 million), not adjusted for inflation. That film also marked a comeback for Cruise.
In terms of openings, Mission: Impossible II holds the record ($57.8 million), not adjusted for inflation.
Fallout reunites Cruise with his Rogue Nation director, Christopher McQuarrie. Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Michelle Monaghan and Alec Baldwin all reprise their roles from previous M:I pics, while newcomers include Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett and Vanessa Kirby.
The plot follows Hunt and his crew as they try to outsmart a CIA agent (Cavill) who is trying to kill them after an assignment gone wrong.
Mission: Impossible — Fallout, in keeping with its recent globe-trotting predecessors, was shot in five countries. Cruise, 56, once again performed a number of high-risk stunts, one of which resulted in the actor breaking his ankle in London. Production was suspended for eight weeks, with insurance covering much of the tens of millions in added costs.
The only other movie daring to open nationwide opposite Fallout is Warner Bros.' family entry Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. Tracking suggests the movie will open in the $13 million to $15 million range, if not slightly higher. It also boasts a stellar score on Rotten Tomatoes: 95 percent.
Teen Titans is the first feature film adapted from the popular children's animated series on Cartoon Network. The story follows the titular heroes — including Beast Boy (Greg Cipes), Robin (Scott Menville), Cyborg (Khary Payton), Raven (Tara Strong) and Starfire (Hynden Walch) — as they try to convince a Hollywood director (Kristen Bell) to develop a movie based on their exploits. Complicating matters is the villain, Slade (Will Arnett).
New offerings at the specialty box office include A24's Hot Summer Nights, starring Timothee Chalamet and Maika Monroe. The coming-of-age drama, which has been awaiting release since premiering at SXSW more than a year ago, currently has a 42 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.