The Mission: Impossible franchise continues to deliver big returns for Tom Cruise.
Over the weekend, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation opened to a better-than-expected $56 million in North America in a needed win for Cruise, whose star status has diminished outside of the spy series over the past decade. The movie, fueled by males (62 percent) and older moviegoers, easily came in No. 1. More than 80 percent of ticket buyers were over the age of 25.
Cruise remains much more of a movie star overseas. Internationally, the $150 million tentpole launched to $65 million from 40 territories (or 40 percent of the marketplace) for an early world cume of $121 million for partners Paramount and Skydance, including a record-breaking launch of $17.1 million in South Korea.
Rogue Nation almost boasted the best three-day weekend opening of any title in the franchise. Alex Gibney‘s recent Scientology documentary Going Clear didn’t seem to hurt Cruise and, by extension, the film, with nearly 40 percent of the North American audience saying they turned out for the actor, a strong number.
The Mission: Impossible movies have never opened to huge numbers, outside of the second title, which took in $70.8 million over the long Memorial Day weekend in 2000, including $57 million for the weekend itself. And Rogue Nation delivered Cruise his third-best domestic opening of all time after Mission: Impossible II and War of the Worlds ($64.9 million), not accounting for inflation.
The critically acclaimed film, buoyed by an A- CinemaScore, is the fifth installment and continues the goodwill that Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol generated. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, Rogue Nation sees Ethan Hunt and his team attempting to prove the existence of (and then stop) the Syndicate, an international criminal consortium. Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson also star.
“This weekend shows that Tom Cruise continues to be a popular star and that Mission continues to be one of the most popular franchises in the U.S. [and] globally,” said Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore, who confirmed that a sixth installment is being developed for Cruise (the actor revealed the project to Jon Stewart last week).
Ghost Protocol, directed by Brad Bird, revitalized the spy-action franchise, earning $694.7 million globally after its release in 2011, a series best. That included an international total of $485.3 million.
Overseas, Rogue Nation came in ahead of Ghost Protocol, or any Mission title, in a number of key markets, including South Korea, where it scored the second-best opening of all time for Paramount after Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the U.K. ($8.7 million), Mexico ($5.1 million) and Taiwan ($5 million). The movie doesn’t open in China until Sept. 8.
The weekend’s other new wide player, Vacation, missed the mark in its U.S. debut after opening Wednesday. The reboot earned $21.2 million for the Wednesday-Sunday stretch, including $14.9 million for the weekend (it had been expected to clear $30 million).
The movie — skewered by critics and earning only a B CinemaScore from audiences — is a sequel of sorts to the first National Lampoon’s Vacation, directed by Harold Ramis, and picks up as Rusty Griswold (Helms), now grown, takes his own family on a vacation. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo make cameos.
Not surprisingly, Vacation, placing No. 2, skewed older, with 36 percent over the age of 35. Females made up the majority of the audience (53 percent).
Warners executive vice president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein said there are several promising signs. “Younger audiences gave it the best scores, and the movie also over-indexed in the South and in the middle of the country,” he said.
Holdovers Ant-Man and Minions ended the weekend in a close race. Disney put Ant-Man‘s earnings at $12.6 million for a domestic total of $132.1 million and global haul of nearly $300 million. Disney and Pixar also announced that Inside Out has crossed the $600 million worldwide.
Universal and Illumination’s Minions grossed $12.2 million domestically for a North American total of $287.3 million and mammoth global total of $854.6 million.
Adam Sandler tentpole Pixels tumbled to No. 5 in its second weekend with $10.4 million domestically, a 57 percent decline. Pixels‘ 10-day North American total is $45.6 million. John Green YA film adaptation Paper Towns also took a big hit in its second weekend, falling more than 60 percent to $4.6 million for a domestic total of $23.8 million.
Jake Gyllenhaal‘s boxing drama Southpaw, from The Weinstein Co., crossed the $30 million mark in its sophomore session, earning $7.5 million for a domestic total of $31.6 million.
James Ponsoldt‘s The End of the Tour, starring Jason Segel as the late author David Foster Wallace, impressed at the specialty box office, opening to $126,459 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $31,615, the best box-office showing of any 2015 Sundance Film Festival title. Segel stars opposite Jesse Eisenberg.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE — ROGUE NATION
July 2, 8:45 a.m. Updated with international numbers.