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Weekend Box Office: Mission: Impossible - Fallout Tops Christopher Robin, Weak Newcomers

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By Chris Kavan - 08/05/18 at 08:10 PM CT

The dearth of new releases over the weekend didn't challenge Mission: Impossible - Fallout at the box office as the Tom Cruise actioner easily topped Christopher Robin and The Spy Who Dumped Me - the only two new films to break into the top five. Still, it was 15% ahead of the same weekend as last year (which isn't too surprising as August 2017 was an exceptionally weak month) but I'm sure Hollywood will take the wins where they can as the summer winds down.


The Mission: Impossible gravy train just keeps on rolling. The latest film dipped just 42.8% in its second weekend - the best hold of any traditional M:I film (Ghost Protocol technically has it beat - but only because it opened on IMAX before going wide over a long Christmas holiday). With another $35 million, Fallout now has $124.48 million. That is also one of the best second-week holds for star Tom Cruise in recent memory. That hold is also better than any of the Bourne films and along the same line as the second-week drop of Wonder Woman and Black Panther. All told, great news for the franchise (I'm finally going to check it out Wednesday and am very much looking forward to it). Internationally, the film added $76 million for a new total of $205 million - 21% ahead of Rogue Nation from the same markets. That gives it a global tally of $329.5 million. $200 million domestic seems like a lock at this point and if it can break out in China, $500 million overseas. Where is goes beyond is up for grabs, but it even has a shot at becoming Cruise's biggest domestic hit if it can top the $234 million of War of the Worlds.


Given Disney's luck with reinventing their various animated classics into new live-action classics, the $25 million opening of Christopher Robin comes as a slight disappointment for the otherwise do-no-wrong House of Mouse. Still, the film faced stiff competition across the board, as the box office is packed with family-friendly films right now. It did open ahead of the similar Pete's Dragon ($21.5 million) and if it has a run similar to that film, it will wind up with around $88 million domestic. Even if it falters, $75 million will be the low end. But with an "A" Cinemascore, at least it has audience support behind it. It only made about $5 million international as it rolls out slowly on that front. While Christopher Robin isn't going to make the upper echelon of Disney's live-action efforts, it's still likely to make money in the long run as this seems like one of the lower-cost efforts as well.


The Mila Kunis/Kate McKinnon action comedy opened with a $12.35 million debut - coming in just behind studio estimates. The films is playing pretty much in life with Hot Pursuit, which opened to $13.9 million leading to a $35 million total. The Spy Who Dumped Me did earn a better "B" Cinemascore (compared to C+ for Hot Pursuit) while both films had a 62% female audience. Lucky for the film, half its $40 million budget has already been covered by foreign sales, so it won't have to break out big in order to be profitable. Next week will be telling whether we're looking at closer to $40 million or $30 million in the long run. Once again, the biggest obstacle this film faced is the overwhelming competition from the likes of both Mamma Mia and Mission:Impossible (not to mention the upcoming The Meg and Crazy Rich Asians). It's tough to say how this is going to hold up in the long run, but it certainly faces and uphill battle.


Speaking of competition and Mamma Mia, the musical sequel held strong, dropping just under 40% for a $9.09 million weekend and new $91.33 million total. The film will be topping that $100 million milestone very quickly and with $139.1 million overseas (including a nice $51 million in the UK), it's $230 million global tally looks quite nice next to its $75 million budget. Oh, and it's going to be one of Meryl Streep's highest-grossing films despite the fact her participation pretty much amounts to a glorified cameo.


Rounding out the top five after dipping 37%, Denzel Washington's Equalizer 2 added another $8.83 million to the coffers for a new $79.88 million total. Like Mamma Mia 2, this sequel is also looking at hitting the sweet spot of $100 million before it ends its run. It still doesn't have much of an international presence as of yet, with just $7.7 million overseas, but it won't need too much help to be profitable. I have a good feeling that a third film is already being planned.

Outside the top five: Down in 8th place is where you'll find The Darkest Minds, the tween-flavored sci-fi/action film at just $5.8 million - good (or should I say bad) enough for 11th place on the worst debuts for a film opening in 3000 plus theaters. It also earned just $4.1 million overseas and the film is going to join the ranks of failed YA experiments as the $34 million production isn't going to come anywhere close to matching its budget - let alone marketing.

Down further, the expansion of Eighth Grade into over 1000 theaters gave the film a 126.2% increase and it jumped from 14th to 12th place with $2.87 million for a new total of $6.58 million. Not bad for a indie film breaking big.

Just below in 13th place (a nice lucky number) we find Dinesh D'Souza's Death of a Nation. The "documentary" earned $2.32 million, below previous films Hillary's America ($3.96 million) and 2016: Obama's America ($6.5 million). In fact, Death will be lucky to earn as much as Obama's America did in its expansion. I guess I should take solace in that.

In milestone news, Disney managed to keep Black Panther in theaters just long enough for the film to cross the $700 million mark (by a mere $4000, but still) in just 170 days and after having been out for home viewing since May. It's just the third film to cross that mark domestic (after Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens).

Next weekend brings us shark attack film The Meg, the horror film Slender Man, family-friendly comedy Dog Days and based-on-a-true story BlacKkKlansman.


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