Mission: Impossible 5 has a new release date. The erstwhile late December 2015 date has been scrapped, and surprisingly the movie did not get pushed back, but came forward. How about that for surprising the Ethan Hunt fans? The new release date for the movie is now July 31, 2015. Yep, the summer period. Paramount Pictures has justified its new release date by claiming that the movie has been completed well beforehand which has allowed the studio to bring it out much sooner than expected. But there has to be another bigger reason behind it, right?
I can think of only one, and if you search on various other websites, the opinion seems to be more or less the same. That Paramount does not want to fight the Jedi warriors. Mission: Impossible 5 had its earlier release planned on December 23, 2015, close to the lucrative Christmas period, but only five days after the release of Disney’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. The much talked about sequel to the original Star Wars trilogy has caused a lot of excitement among movie-goers, much beyond the fans of the series alone; the excitement initially was on the appointment of the director, then the casting news which brought back many of the famous characters of the old movies, then the set photos, and finally it erupted when the first trailer was released. Needless to say, Star Wars: Episode VII will have a massive massive opening on the weekend of December 18. Now considering the initial positive excitement, and keeping a bit of faith in director J.J. Abrams, most of us would bet that it would be a worthy Star Wars sequel. Paramount too seems to have the same opinion. If the Star Wars movie opens to positive reviews, then there is a very high likelihood that the fall in the number of viewers would be restricted for the second weekend. As it would be the Christmas weekend, the movie could get a visit from many new folks as well apart from those fans who would not mind a second visit. And all this would have come at the expense of Mission: Impossible 5.
Tom Cruise & Co have thus smartly shifted the movie date. Rather than opting to move to 2016, Paramount has got the movie moved up, which could only mean that the post-production work on the movie is ending much before anticipation. While the studio is hesitant to take on the might of Star Wars, do not doubt its faith in Mission: Impossible 5 because the new chosen release date pits the movie against three other new releases. The biggest threat could be coming from the sci-fi film Selfless starring Ryan Reynolds. It has been directed by Tarsem Singh, so expect quite a bit of drama as well. Ryan Reynolds is not a big draw as compared to Tom Cruise, but for those who aren’t interested in the action and adventure of Ethan Hunt, there is a seemingly interesting option in the form of Selfless.
Another drama titled Southpaw, distributed by Weinstein Company, has a release scheduled on the same date. The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal (who has an enhanced reputation after last year’s Nightcrawler), Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker; it is the story of a boxer who is trying to reach the top while struggling with his personal problems at the same time. Point Break is the other release of the same weekend, an action film which is a reboot of the 1991 movie starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, though the newer version does not star any big names. So there are enough new releases to counter Mission: Impossible 5 on the last weekend of July. But if you look at each of these movies in a bit more detail, none of them really look like a big threat to the dominance that Mission: Impossible 5 can exert on the box-office. Apart from the fact that Mission: Impossible series has been around since 1996 and has a strong following, the latest movie benefits from the goodwill which 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol created. The fourth intalment was the biggest box-office earner of the franchise with $695 million earned worldwide. So unlike something like the Die Hard series which is discovering another low with each new movie now, the Mission: Impossible series has managed to strengthen itself by roping in some fresher faces (like Jeremy Renner) around the tried and tested Tom Cruise.
There is another point that one must factor in. The previous Mission: Impossible film made only 30% from North America while the rest ($485 million) came from abroad. So the release of Mission: Impossible 5 in July also prevents it from going head-to-head with the Star Wars movie in foreign markets where too the anticipation is quite high.
It thus seems like a smart move to get an early release for Mission: Impossible 5. There is no harm in acknowledging the box-office potential of a competing film, for after all, the choice of the release date has decided the financial fate of a film many a times. We should be getting a trailer for Mission: Impossible 5 sometime soon now, and then the marketing of the film can gradually gather pace. The summer of 2015 has gotten even more exciting!