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Weekend Box Office: Mission: Possible - Rogue Nation Easily Tops Competition

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By Chris Kavan - 08/02/15 at 09:42 PM CT

There was little doubt that Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation was going to win the weekend but the question remained whether Tom Cruise would be as big a draw as before or whether we were going to get another result ala Terminator Genisys. Luckily, it looks like audiences were in the mood for action as Rogue Nation didn't just top the box office, it did so in pretty spectacular fashion. It turns out some franchises really do just get better with age.


The Mission: Impossible series has been a solid action franchise since the beginning. Personal life aside, I can't fault Cruise - he not only does his own stunts (injuring himself multiple times on this film) when he's in his element, he's great. Rogue Nation is definitely Cruise in his element. Exceeding expectations (which pegged it at around the $40 million mark), Rogue Nation took the top spot with an excellent $56 million opening. That is the third best opening for Cruise - and his best traditional three-day weekend ever. Internationally, it opened to $65 million and, taking part that it was a Chinese co-production (you know, the biggest emerging film market) there is a good chance Rogue Nation will score $500 million plus on the world market before it's done (it is already outpacing Ghost Protocol by a fair margin). With little in the way of big competition (Fantastic Four and Man from U.N.C.L.E. being the biggest threats) on the domestic front it is looking at around a $150 million+ performance. Not bad for a film in its fifth outing and without benefit of 3D to fatten its grosses. And Paramount is exceptionally happy, it seems, as they have all but confirmed a sixth film is on its way - and why not, with results like these, you would be insane not to capitalize.


The raunchy updated to the classic National Lampoon's Vacation hit a speedbump with critics and stalled with audiences as a result. The fully R-rated comedy was expected to open in the $25-$30 million range but withering reviews and a lukewarm reception bumped it down to just a $14.8 million opening. With its early opening taken into account, Vacation has earned $21.1 million total. Like so many other attempted reboots or rebrandings or whatever you want to call them - Vacation just didn't hold that much appeal to audiences. Expectations are this one is going to tumble hard and fast and will likely top out at just around $50 million. It just goes to show that sometimes messing with a good thing is a bad idea (see also Robocop, Total Recall, Clash of the Titans, Conan the Barbarian... need I go on?).


The little superhero that could dropped out of the top spot and took a 49% hit in the process. Likely losing its audience to Rogue Nation, Ant-Man still brought in a respectable $12.6 million, giving it a new total of $132.1 million. It will soon pass The Incredible Hulk to at least not be labeled the lowest-grossing Marvel movie. At least it managed to crawl passed its $130 million budget - taking into account international numbers, this is still going to be a hit for the studio. Ant-Man should be able to cross the $150 million mark before it leaves theaters.


The little, yellow fellows continued to show some staying power, dropping a spot to 4th place in their fourth weekend with a take of $12.2 million. That gives the film a new total of $287.4 million and $300 million seems all but in the bag within the next few weeks. Worldwide the Minions have proven even more amazing to the tune of a cool $854 million. It's likely Minions is going to top $1 billion total - though it's not a given. But even if it falls short of the magical number, with just a $74 million budget, this one knocked it well out of the park.


After a disappointing debut, Pixels took a second-week nose dive and just managed to cling to the top five. At $10.4 million, Pixels was off a hefty 56.7% compared to its opening weekend. It doesn't bode well for its long-term prospects (not that there was really any doubt). Pixels has taken in $45.6 million since opening. It will have trouble hitting $75 million let alone reaching its $88 million budget. Once again, foreign grosses are going to have to bail out this Adam Sandler misfire.

Outside the top five: Opening in limited release (four theaters) The End of the Tour had the best per-theater average out of any film scoring $126,00 for a nice $31,500 per-theater score. Expect this film, about Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky's five-day interview with novelist David Foster Wallace, to expand based on that result.

In sixth place with $9.7 million, Trainwreck, Amy Schumer's breakout comedy, crossed the $75 million mark with a new total of $79.7 million - also more than doubling its $35 million budget. Expect this one to be strong enough to hit $100 million before it exits theaters.

Next week has a lot on its plate - yet another version of The Fantastic Four debuts, we have the animated (but little-advertised) Shaun the Sheep, the Meryl Streep rock star redemption drama Ricki and the Flash and finally another unnerving thriller from director Joel Edgerton, The Gift. Despite the influx, I still give the edge to Rogue Nation, but we shall see.


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