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Weekend Wrap-Up: Impossible Mission has Plausible Opening

August 4th, 2015

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation matched expectations close enough to call it a victory. Meanwhile, Vacation came within 10% of Friday's predictions, but unfortunately, we weren't predicting box office success, so that's not a good thing. With the holdovers slumping as summer ends, the overall box office dipped 3.2% from last weekend. That's not the problem. The problem is the 21% drop-off from the same weekend last year. Granted, Guardians of the Galaxy broke records when it opened this weekend last year, but a 21% drop-off is still troublesome. 2015 still leads 2014 by a substantial margin at $6.67 billion to $6.25 billion, so unless 2015 really crashes, it will still have a lead going into the winter holidays.

It is rare for franchises to last till their fifth installment, but that's just what Mission: Impossible did with Rogue Nation. It is even rarer for the fifth installment to still be a box office draw, but Rogue Nation cruised to first place with $55.52 million during its opening week. There is a chance it will be the last $100 million hit for the summer and it could get there as early as this time next week. Its reviews certainly suggest strong legs and the buzz for the direct competition is looking worse and worse. It is still too early to tell where the film will end up globally, but clearly the studio is happy with its start, because they are already working on the sixth movie.

Vacation earned second place with $14.68 million over the three-day weekend for a five-day opening of $21.00 million. On the one hand, this isn't a bad opening for a film that cost $40 million to make. On the other hand, one has to assume the studio was hoping for more. Its reviews won't help its legs and R-rated comedies rarely do as well internationally as they do domestically. (Comedy often doesn't translate well into other cultures.) It might still break even, eventually, but I don't expect another film in the franchise.

Ant-Man was next with $12.80 million over the weekend for a total of $132.33 million after three weeks of release. This is more than it cost to make and it is on pace to top $150 million in a little more than a week. Add in its international numbers and the film has nearly broken even already.

As expected, Minions was very close behind with $12.39 million over the weekend for a total of $287.58 million after four weeks of release. By this time next week, the movie will likely be over $300 million.

Pixels fell to fifth place with $10.50 million over the weekend for a total of just $45.71 million after two. At this pace, it won't even match its production budget domestically, while Adam Sandler movies rarely do as well internationally. He's either going to have to adapt to a new marketplace, or his career could be in a death spiral.

Trainwreck just missed the top five with $9.61 million over the weekend. It now has $79.61 million after three weeks of release, which keeps it on pace to reach $100 million domestically.

Our last two sophomore class films were next with Southpaw coming in seventh place with $7.62 million over the weekend for a total of $31.68 million after two. This is more than it cost to make, so if it can find an audience internationally, it will break even. Likewise, Paper Towns only cost $12 million to $13 million to make, while it has $23.85 million at the box office. This includes $4.64 million over the weekend, which represents a 63% drop-off. This is well below expectations, but it could still break even on the home market.


Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, Ant-Man, Pixels, Minions, Fantastic Four, Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation, Paper Towns, Vacation, Trainwreck, Southpaw, Mission: Impossible, National Lampoon's Vacation, Adam Sandler