The word “best” has been following Mission: Impossible – Fallout around this week. It is the best-reviewed film of the series by critics with a 97% Tomatometer rating. (The previous two films each received a 93%.) It has the highest audience score in the series with a 94%, so far (but expect that to move up and down as time passes). It has now passed Mission: Impossible II’s $57.8 million to post the highest opening in the series, with $61.5 million. On top of all of that, it is the highest opening three-day total of Tom Cruise’s career – War of the Worlds had $57.6 million in the bank after a pre-July 4 Wednesday opening, and made $64.8 million from Friday to Sunday. But we won’t hold that against M:I – 6.
Word-of-mouth is going to be the best friend to Mission: Impossible – Fallout, just as it was to Ghost Protocol, which initially opened in just 425 IMAX screens nationwide and earned a robust $17 million in its first (limited) five days on its way to over $209 million domestic (second only to part 2) and over $694 million worldwide (the series’ best). Fallout will unquestionably become the fifth film in the franchise to cross the $180 million mark. J.J. Abrams’ third Mission film is the low water mark with $134 million. That installment came hot on the heels of Cruise’s blowups with Matt Lauer and Oprah’s couch, though those events did not hurt War of the Worlds’ numbers, which remains the highest-grossing film of his career.
Mission: Impossible II had $111 million in the bank after its first 10 days and Rogue Nation had $107. Those numbers will likely be left in the rearview mirror come next Sunday. Disney’s Christopher Robin will not be pulling people away from this one and if word-of-mouth holds as expected, Fallout should still have the edge to spend its second week at no. 1. This is Cruise’s fifth 90%-plus movie on the Tomatometer since 2000, with the last three M:I films on top followed by Minority Report and Edge of Tomorrow. The new movie’s $178 million budget (just missing the top 10 most expensive films ever produced by Paramount) hardly seems like a gamble given the near-$700 million haul of the previous two. With a $153-plus million worldwide start, Fallout has a very good shot at finally cracking the milestone for the series.
We have been tracking the growing success of Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade over the past few weeks, and it is showing no signs of slowing down. A24 expanded the film, which has a 99% score on the Tomatometer, into an additional 125 theaters this weekend (for a total of 158) and it grossed a solid $1.31 million. By comparison, Wes Anderson’s 90% Isle of Dogs (90% currently) grossed $2.9 million when it expanded to 165 theaters in its second weekend. With a $2.9 million haul so far, Eighth Grade has grossed a little less than half of what Anderson’s film had at this point in its run, but as the film expands nationwide next weekend you can expect to see it in the Top 10.
Teen Titans Go! to the Movies had a disappointing start with just $10.5 million (some projections had it between $14-$20 million). This was despite almost universal critical acclaim – the movie sits at 90% on the Tomatometer, making it one of the year’s best animated offerings. The result backs up a trend that shows animated films in late summer are not always a winning proposition. Putting aside The Simpsons Movie, which opened with $74 million 11 years to the day, and The Smurfs, which was half-animated and made $35.6 million on the final weekend of July in 2011, no other animated film in the back half of this month has opened to more than $25 million. The Emoji Movie, Monster House, Ice Age: Collision Course, and Turbo all opened between $20-$25 million.
Incredibles 2 is just shy of becoming the ninth film in history to reach the $600 million milestone at the domestic box office (and 7th since 2009’s Avatar), while Black Panther is just $55,000 away from $700 million; the former currently has its eye on joining the billion dollar club as it stands with $996 million worldwide. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is already there with $1.23 billion and will be crossing the $400 million mark domestically sometime this upcoming week. No film that has passed the $180 million mark by its fourth weekend has failed to reach $200 million and Ant-Man and the Wasp is there, surpassing its predecessor. Hotel Transylvania 3 has nearly reached $120 million in its third weekend.
Last week’s openers each took big slides, but it wasn’t all bad news. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again slid 57% but maintained its second place slot; the good news for the ABBA musical is that no film to have $69 million after 10 days has failed to reach $100 million. Equalizer 2, on the other hand, took a larger 61% plunge from its surprising no. 1 opening last week. With $64 million in the bank so far, it is hoping to avoid joining an exclusive club of films which made between $60-$66 million in its first 10 days and failed to make $100 million – this club includes Oblivion, Sausage Party, The Scorpion King, Rampage, as well as Denzel’s The Book of Eli and Denzel/Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven. Speaking of Dwayne Johnson, Skyscraper is currently on pace to do less than his 2014 Hercules film, which made just $72.6 million, though it is close to passing that film’s worldwide gross of $244 million. Skyscraper’s gross in China ($48.4 million) is nearly as much as its entire domestic gross to date of $59 million.
Last year, July ended with Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk on top in its second week, crossing the $100 million mark, and fending off a challenge from The Emoji Movie which opened with $24.5 million. Charlize Theron’s Cold War action thriller, Atomic Blonde, finished in fourth place with $18.2 million; Girls Trip was third, passing a total of $65 million in its second weekend. Annapurna Pictures put its first film into theaters with Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, which made $350,190 in just 20 theaters for a $17,510 per theater average. The studio is hoping that this summer’s Sorry to Bother You, which has made $13.3 million to date, will pass Detroit’s $16.7 million haul to become their highest-grossing film to date. We’ll have to wait and see.
Disney’s Christopher Robin is hoping to become the last big breakout hit of the summer. Whether it can challenge the word-of-mouth of Fallout remains to be seen, but given how family audiences have mostly ignored Teen Titans, they may be waiting to take their kids to something a bit more nostalgic. Lionsgate’s The Spy Who Dumped Me is hoping to continue to reel in the female audience, before Crazy Rich Asians opens in a few weeks, while Fox is opening superhero YA film, The Darkest Minds. Finally, conservative commentator and recently pardoned felon, Dinesh D’Souza, is back with the documentary, Death of a Nation, which could find cash in conservative audiences.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]