Box Office: 'Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation' Victorious With $56M U.S. Debut

The Mission: Impossible franchise continues to deliver big returns for Tom Cruise. Over the weekend, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation op...

The Mission: Impossible franchise continues to deliver big returns for Tom Cruise.

Over the weekend, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation opened to a better-than-expected $56 million in North America, where Cruise’s star status has diminished outside of the spy series. The movie easily came in No. 1.

Cruise remains much more of a movie star overseas. Internationally, the $150 million tentpole launched to even bigger numbers for partners Paramount and Skydance, although final figures weren’t immediately available.

Rogue Nation almost boasted the best three-day weekend opening of any title in the franchise, not accounting for inflation. The Mission: Impossible movies have never opened to huge numbers, outside of the second film, which took in $70.8 million over the long Memorial Day weekend in 2000, including $57 million for the weekend itself.

The critically acclaimed film, buoyed by an A- CinemaScore, is the fifth installment and continues the goodwill that Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol generated. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, Rogue Nation sees Hunt and his team attempting to prove the existence of (and then stop) the Syndicate, an international criminal consortium. Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson also star.

Ghost Protocol, directed by Brad Bird, revitalized the spy-action franchise, earning $694.7 million globally after its release in 2011, a series best. That included an international total of $485.3 million.

The weekend’s other new wide player, Vacation, missed the mark in its U.S. debut after opening Wednesday. The reboot earned $21.2 million for the Wednesday-Sunday stretch, including $14.9 million for the weekend (it had been expected to clear $30 million).

If there’s any solace, it’s that New Line spent a modest $30 million to Vacation, starring Ed Helms,Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth.

The movie — skewered by critics and earning only a B CinemaScore from audiences — is a sequel of sorts to the first National Lampoon’s Vacation, directed by Harold Ramis, and picks up as Rusty Griswold (Helms), now grown, takes his own family on a vacation. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo make cameos.

Not surprisingly, Vacation, placing No. 2, skewed older, with 36 percent over the age of 35. Females made up the majority of the audience (53 percent).

Holdovers Ant-Man and Minions ended the weekend in a close race. Disney put Ant-Man’s earnings at $12.6 million for a domestic total of $132.1 million and global haul of nearly $300 million. Disney and Pixar also announced that Inside Out has crossed the $600 million worldwide.

Universal and Illumination’s Minions grossed $12.2 million domestically for a North American total of $287.3 million and mammoth global total of $854.6 million.

Adam Sandler tentpole Pixels tumbled to number 5 in its second weekend with $10.4 million domestically, a 57 percent decline.Pixels’s 10-day North American total is $45.6 million. John Green YA film adaptation Paper Towns also took a big hit in is second weekend, falling more than 60 percent to $4.6 million for a domestic total of $23.8 million.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s boxing drama Southpaw, from The Weinstein Co., crossed the $30 million mark in its sophomore session, earning $7.5 million for a domestic total of $31.6 million.

James Ponsoldt’s The End of the Tour, starring Jason Segel as the late author David Foster Wallace, impressed at the specialty box office, opening to $126,459 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $31,615, the best box-office showing of any 2015 Sundance Film Festival title. Segel stars opposite Jesse Eisenberg.

Pamela McClintock

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