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Weekend Predictions: Mission has Impossible Mission

July 30th, 2015

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation shouldn't have any trouble earning first place over the weekend. In fact, it should make more than the rest of the top five combined. On the downside, its real competition isn't the other films in theaters, but Guardians of the Galaxy, which set the August weekend box office record when it opened this weekend last year. Rogue Nation could have a record-opening for the franchise and still not come close to Guardians of the Galaxy. The only other new wide release of the week is Vacation, which started on Wednesday. Its reviews are terrible and its box office chances are not much better. Since nothing will top Guardians of the Galaxy's record-breaking opening, it seems 2015 will end the month on a losing note. Hopefully this is just a momentary hiccup and not an omen for how the rest of the summer will go.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is the fifth installment in this franchise, a franchise that has been around for nearly 20 years. The most recent installment, Ghost Protocol, became the biggest hit in the franchise globally and the second biggest hit domestically. Sadly, it seems most people are convinced this film won't repeat its predecessor's success. This is unfortunate, as the film's reviews are amazing and it is the last potential monster hit of the summer, so there won't be a lot of direct competition to deal with. (I don't think Fantastic Four is going to have the same effect at the box office.) At the beginning of the month I thought this film would have a shot at $200 million, but if the pessimistic analysts are correct, it will open with barely more than $40 million. Even at the high end, expectations are barely more than $60 million. I think the higher end is more likely and I'm going with an opening weekend of $57 million.

Vacation opened on Wednesday and while it will be a few hours before we get the daily numbers, it is rumored that the film pulled in $4.1 million during its opening day. That's not a terrible start for a Wednesday release, but I think it is safe to say the film doesn't have any potential beyond a midlevel hit. In fact, its reviews might hurt its legs enough that even that won't happen. On the high end, the film could pull in over $20 million over the three-day weekend for a total opening of close to $30 million. On the low end, it could crash on Thursday and make less than $20 million over five days of release. I think it will drop to just under $3 million on Thursday, but recover on Friday earning $16 million over the three-day weekend. It reportedly only cost $40 million to make, so that wouldn't be a bad start.

Ant-Man will be in a really close race with Minions for third place. Ant-Man has had the advantage during the week, but it will take a big hit with the release of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. I don't think it will sink enough to give Minions the advantage over the weekend, but it could be very close. Both films should earn between $12 million and $13 million over the weekend.

Pixels might get knocked out of the top five this weekend. That would be a shock, as most Adam Sandler movies have better legs than their reviews would indicate. On a side note, I've read a couple of think pieces on why Pixels has failed to meet expectations. One put forth the idea that Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and the other video game characters featured in the movie were not popular enough to draw in crowds. The other put forth the idea that the film's sexism killed the movie with women and the market is such that you can't have a major box office hit unless you draw in the female crowds. Even films that historically have been male dominated, like the recent Fast and the Furious films, have included a number of strong female characters that are not just there to be romantic conquests of the male leads. On the other hand, in Pixels, Ashley Benson plays a character named Lady Lisa. She doesn't have a single line in the entire movie. It should still grab fifth pace with just over $11 million, but Trainwreck could find itself in fifth place instead.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Ant-Man, Pixels, Minions, Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation, Vacation, Trainwreck, Mission: Impossible, Fast and the Furious, Adam Sandler, Ashley Benson