Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation cruises to the top while Vacation stalls
By Rich Matthews
You can't beat a good, solid action-thriller. That's the message that $56m-worth of US box office sent this weekend, with Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible (5) - Rogue Nation exceeding expectations and almost setting a franchise best (2000's M:1-2 managed $57m).
With buoyant notices for its "real-world" action and twisty-turny plot, the Cruiser's return to his signature role as Ethan Hunt (who has been appearing on our screen since 1996, folks) also performed well internationally, with Scientology Tom remains a bigger draw, amassing a further $65m for a global launch of $121m for Paramount and Skydance.
So far, the M:I watermark (not accounting for inflation) rests with Incredibles director Brad Bird's fourth entry, Ghost Protocol, which earned just shy of $700m worldwide four years ago. This fifth flick was co-written and directed by Cruise's Jack Reacher helmer, Christopher McQuarrie. At the other end of the scale, the weekend's other big release – New Line's Vacation – underwhelmed, falling short of its predicted $30m opening with $21.2m since Wednesday. The Ed Helms-led "sequel" to the 1983 Chevy Chase pseudo-classic National Lampoon's Vacation – directed by the late, great Harold Ramis – could only muster $14.9m for the actual weekend. Even the presence of Thor star Chris Hemsworth sporting a gigantic prosthetic penis couldn't help the $30m comedy to perform.
Close behind the newbies, Disney's Ant-Man managed to hold off Universal's Minions with $12.6m (for a domestic total of $132.1m, and a global tally of nearly $300m), while the Despicable Me spin-off was just behind with $12.2m ($287.3m at home and a gigantic $854.6m worldwide).
Adam Sandler's Sony-financed flop Pixels came in fifth with $10.4m, for a weak domestic total of $45.6m ($102.1m global) for the $150m-budgeted fantasy comedy, while John Green young adult fic adap (see, we love the zeitgeist) Paper Towns also saw a big decline of 60 per cent to gross $4.6m ($23.8m, $49.5m) at nine, leaving far, far last year's The Fault In Our Stars.
The rest of the chart saw Amy Schumer's Trainwreck at six ($9.7m, $80m US), Jake Gyllenhaal in Kurt Sutter's boxer of anarchy drama Southpaw ($7.5m, $31.7m), Disney/Pixar's charming Inside Out ($4.5m, $330m, $602m worldwide), and, rounding out the top 10, the summer's big dino daddy, Jurassic World ($3.8m, $631.5m, $1.56bn).
Next weekend we'll find out if Fox's reboot of Fantastic Four by Chronicle director Josh Trank is super enough to be the box office hero the studio hopes it can be.