Right from 1996 to 2015, Tom Cruise and his Mission: Impossible series have proved one thing remains true in Hollywood — if you entertain, the audience will come. In his fifth outing as agent Ethan Hunt, Tom Cruise has once more stolen the limelight, and hit back at the critics who were wondering whether his stardom is on a decline. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opened with a strong $56 million at the box-office in North America, just a bit short of the best opening in the franchise of $57.8 million back in 2000 by Mission: Impossible II. Now let’s understand things a little better. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has been made on a production budget of $150 million, and so depending on the extent of marketing costs borne for the movie, it should break-even somewhere at $450 to $500 million at the global box-office. The movie should make close to $200 million at the domestic box-office. But it is the global appeal of Tom Cruise as a star, and of Mission: Impossible as an exciting energetic movie franchise which will bring home the profits to the studio. The previous movie, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, had earned $485 million in overseas market alone, and there is no reason to believe that Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation will earn anything lesser ($65 million so far and counting). The wonderful reviews for the movie (a 93% score on Rottentomatoes) are going to only help matters here. Summing the domestic and overseas figures, we could be looking at a $700 million plus figure, which makes Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation a terrific hit for Paramount Pictures. We’ll of course be tracking the movie in the coming weeks, but as for now, it is safe to say that 53 year-old Tom Cruise still has that extra punch in him!
The other wide release for the weekend in North America was Vacation, a sequel / reboot of the 1983 cult comedy film National Lampoon’s Vacation. The original movie spawned a franchise, of which 2015’s Vacation is the seventh film, and the fifth theatrical release. The series did decently well in the 1980s, but then faded away, with the last theatrical release way back in 1997. Later on a direct-to-TV movie was produced as well as a short film. The franchise, for some reason, has sprung up now, probably in keeping with the ‘nostalgic‘ theme of 2015. But Vacation might just have buried the movie series, at least for a while. Its dismal $14.9 million weekend opening, coupled with terrible reviews, would make it a struggle for the studio to recover the production cost of $31 million as well as the marketing costs. Warner Bros. could have certainly used that money much better!
Coming to the holdovers. Ant-Man is doing a fantastic job with a sub-50% fall in its third weekend. It has earned $292 million so far worldwide, and there are many big markets where the tiny superhero is yet to go. Last week’s movies had sharp falls this weekend, Pixels at 57%, Southpaw at 55%, and Paper Towns with the worst drop of almost 64%. Pixels has earned a bit more than $100 million worldwide, but as we talked about last week, its production budget would just turn out too high for this film to break-even. Southpaw is yet to release in most of the overseas markets, so it’s difficult to comment on the box-office potential it holds. Paper Towns has earned $50 million worldwide till now; we already know that this one will earn a good profit considering its low budget.
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($56.0 million)
2. Vacation ($14.9 million)
3. Ant-Man ($12.6 million; third weekend)
4. Minions ($12.2 million; fourth weekend)
5. Pixels ($10.4 million; second weekend)