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In the showdown between Tom Cruise and Winnie the Pooh at the box office, Cruise is winning.
Paramount’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout is pacing to gross $35 million or more in its second weekend for a decline of just 43 percent. Disney’s new family offering, Christopher Robin — inspired by the classic children’s tale Winnie the Pooh — is projected to earn $25 million-$27 million in its domestic debut.
Christopher Robin earned $9.5 million on Friday, including $1.5 million in Thursday previews, compared to $9.9 million for M:I6. Prerelease tracking had showed Disney’s live-action/CGI hybrid opening to $28 million or more, with many services predicting $30 million-plus.
And in other Disney news, the studio announced Saturday that Black Panther is crossing the $700 million mark in North America, becoming only the third film to achieve the milestone behind fellow Disney pic Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Fox’s Avatar, not adjusted for inflation.
Christopher Robbin, directed by Marc Forster, stars Ewan McGregor as an overworked and stressed-out adult Christopher Robin, who has lost touch with his imagination. All that changes when his childhood friends — Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger and the rest of the gang — magically emerge from the Hundred Acre Wood.
Christopher Robin earned an A CinemaScore.
Several other films are also set to open nationwide, including Lionsgate and Imagine Entertainment’s The Spy Who Dumped Me. Directed by Susanna Fogel, the R-rated action-comedy starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon earned $5 million on Friday for a third-place opening in the $12 million-$13 million range. (The comedy genre continues to be challenging at the box office.)
The story follows two friends who become entangled in an international conspiracy when one of the women discovers that her ex-boyfriend is a spy. Justin Theroux, Gillian Anderson, Hasan Minhaj, Ivanna Sakhno and Sam Heughan co-star.
For the first time since Deadpool 2 in mid-May, Fox enters the box-office fray with the YA film adaptation The Darkest Minds, directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, the acclaimed helmer of the last two Kung Fu Panda movies. The film grossed $2.3 million on Friday for a projected $6 million opening.
Both Spy Who Dumped Me and Darkest Minds earned a mediocre B CinemaScore.
Darkest Minds follows a group of teens who mysteriously develop new abilities and are detained and declared a threat by the government. Sixteen-year-old Ruby (Amandla Stenberg) escapes and joins a growing resistance with other teens. Mandy Moore, Bradley Whitford, Harris Dickinson, Patrick Gibson, Skylan Brooks, Miya Cech and Gwendoline Christie also star.
The fourth pic opening nationwide is the pro-Trump documentary Death of a Nation, from controversial conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, who was pardoned earlier this year by President Donald Trump after pleading guilty to violating campaign finance laws. The doc, playing in 1,005 theaters, far fewer locations than its competitors, is eyeing an opening in the $2.5 million-$3 million range.
D’Souza’s last doc, Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, grossed $4 million when expanding into a total of 1,217 theaters in its second weekend after first debuting in three theaters. Death of a Nation looks to earn $2 million-$4 million (the doc presently has a 0 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes).
Aug. 3, 12:45 p.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates.
Aug. 4, 8 a.m. Updated with revised weekend estimates and Friday grosses.
Aug. 5, 11:07 Updated with Black Panther milestone.
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Lisa Marie Presley