After six movies, 22 years, countless bruises and a broken ankle, Tom Cruise’s death-defying “Mission: Impossible” stunts continue to pay off at the box office.
“Mission: Impossible - Fallout” easily took the No. 1 spot on the domestic charts this weekend. Paramount Pictures estimates that it earned $61.5 million from 4,386 North American theaters.
Not accounting for inflation, it’s a best for the long-running franchise, which has grossed $2.8 billion worldwide, and one of Cruise’s biggest too (just shy of the “War of the Worlds” $64.9 million debut in 2005). Internationally the film earned $92 million from 36 markets, which is also a franchise best.
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, “Fallout” has scored some of the best reviews in the series and has been in the news cycle for almost a year. Talk about the film started early, in August of 2017, when Cruise broke his ankle performing a stunt in London with video to prove it.
“Paramount was strategically perfect in their marketing and publicity game,” said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “They showed how important a star’s presence is in marketing the movie early on. Tom Cruise broke his ankle and they made that into a positive for the movie — it fed the Tom Cruise ‘Mission: Impossible’ mystique.”
Second place went to “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” which fell 57 percent in its second weekend in theaters, to earn $15 million. It was a much steeper decline than the first film, which dropped only 36 percent between its first and second weekends.
Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer 2” slid to third with $14 million in weekend two, and “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” took fourth with $12.3 million.
The animated “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies,” a feature spinoff of the Cartoon Network television show about Robin and some of the lesser-known DC superheroes, was the only major film to open against “Fallout.” The Warner Bros. release earned $10.5 million and landed in fifth place.
The film earned positive reviews from critics and younger audiences, but also faced a fair amount of animated competition from both “Hotel Transylvania 3” and “Incredibles 2,” which is still going strong in its seventh weekend and headed toward the $1 billion mark. As of Sunday the Disney/Pixar sequel had earned an estimated $996.5 million globally.
But although $10.5 million might seem on the lower side, “Teen Titans” also cost only $10 million to produce.
“Family movies like this will play for a lot of weeks,” said Warner Bros.’ domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein. “The whole objective of this movie was to work with our cousins in other Warner units for brand identification.”