Box Office Forecast: Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation to get extremely possible first; Vacation to go for box office gold

Okay, I’m a bit busier this week, so I’m gonna keep this short. Don’t blame me a lot, though, if some of the below are repetition of what I already mentioned in the August Box Office Preview– I have already put most of my analysis for the new films there, so repetition is inevitable here.

If the title hasn’t made it clear enough, this weekend will see Tom Cruise back in the role which has defined his career- Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation, with weird punctuation in the title alone, and Vacation, which is probably trying to remind you to get one in fear you overstuff yourself with the ordeals of life.

I know I’m a bit late on this one, busy life schedules to blame, but whatever, I’m gonna use my original numbers I put up on my 2015 Box Office Forecast to play fair on this one. Okay, here comes the analysis and predictions:

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation is coming on the heels of the best received installment in the franchise yet, Ghost Protocol, which earned a massive 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and in the process its highest grossing installment to date. Of course, as Paramount has made explicitly clear by showing this films to critic all over so early on before release, they are definitely really confident about this one- Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise has seemingly done the impossible again, making a film that’s just about as good, or in certain cases, even better than Ghost Protocol. Okay, here’s numbers to explain- as mentioned above, Ghost Protocol has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes- Rogue Nation is currently at 93% too, with an average of 7.6/10 rating after 176 reviews (that’s a lot, considering this film has barely been in theaters for a day). Ghost Protocol has an average rating of 7.7/10, which makes it really clear that this film is more or less on par. Rogue Nation is faring better than Ghost Protocol on Metacritic- 75% VS 73%, so yeah, you get the picture. These reviews only indicate one thing, and TV spots and marketing have gladly utilized these- word of mouth will be fantastic, and that’s undoubtable. Recent marketing has just thrown in reviews after reviews from critics which have raved about the film, and that’s pretty much to the film’s advantage. Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation has never been a franchise where people rush out to- Ghost Protocol being a clear example, earning over 7 times its limited IMAX release opening weekend of $12.8 million- and that will probably be the case here as well, as can be seen by Tom Cruise’s decreasing popularity as of late. It takes a hit film to get people to warm up to him again, and it looks like with Edge of Tomorrow and now Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation, that he is on a hit- at least his films have been, critically.

Of course, whereas Ghost Protocol had Tom Cruise scaling the Burj Khalifa, whereas this film has Tom Cruise holding onto a plane, which comes nowhere close in terms of excitement factor. Okay, underwater ‘I held my breath for 3 straight minutes’ scene and motorcycle chases and stopping an assassination of the Vienna Chancellor at an opera without disrupting anyone when the play’s occuring at the Vienna State Opera are tense and thrilling too, but nothing as ‘as big a screen as possible’ type of pull which Ghost Protocol had. Regardless, with a returning cast consisting of the likes of Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Jeremy Renner, Paramount shouldn’t be worried about the nostalgic factor. Although tracking has been soft till this point, I believe this film still has the potential to live up to its predecessor, with fantastic reviews and a star-studded cast (and lots of practical stunts, all done by Cruise himself). Thursday Night numbers have done it some justice- $4 million, which is really impressive. Even though this filmm might fall short of recent Mission: Impossible movies, its the legs that matter, something this film will probably have along with lots of repeat business, considering the last big blockbuster this summer will see comes next weekend with Fantastic Four, before it gets quiet for close to a month and a half before Maze Runner’s sequel is set to do somewhat massive business. Expect grosses to stabilize then either.

OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTIONS: $20 million 3-days, $29 million 5-days

(Lots and lots of repetition here)
Vacation comes as a sort of quasi-reboot to the National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise, which has spawned 3 sequels, though the last one came all the way back in 1997, starring Chevy Chase, He’s back, but not as the lead- Ed Helms is taking over that role, as the grown up Rusty Griswold, with Christina Applegate now playing his wife, now with two sons of his own. Chris Hemsworth is coming along on the ride too, if you’re wondering. Opening in a period where comedies have often thrived, this one is barely coming two weeks after the superbly-received and crowd-pleasing Trainwreck, which everyone has been raving about. The market can always expand, and with this serving as a direct continuation, it seems likely that the crowd that came back then will return due to nostalgia, and seeing Walley World one more time.

Okay, all the above points, until Wednesday and Thursday numbers came in, which got me sorely disappointed. It only had a $3.8 million opening day on Wednesday, and on Thursday was down 34.5% to $2.5 million, which translates to $6.3 million in its first two days of release. Of course, bad reviews might be to blame on this one, with 23% on Rotten Tomatoes as of now, but I’ll leave more of those numbers in the box office report which I’ll upload next week.

On the holdover front, lets begin with Ant-Man, and to do so, here’s some look back at how past installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe fared over their third weekends. Avengers: Age of Ultron crashed 50%, Guardians of the Galaxy dipped 40.4%, while Captain America: Winter Soldier dipped 38.0%. I’m going to say Ant-Man will have a dip somewhere in the lines of that of Guardians of the Galaxy, due to similar launch frames, but just be a tad bigger, due to Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation’s entrance. Minions is going to have yet another close to 50% drop, as per its performance the last few weekends. Paper Towns, meanwhile, is expected to die a quick death- The Fault in our Stars last year dipped over 68% from its first to second weekend- I’m not expecting such a massive dip here, but front-loadedness from rush out of female teens who crave John Green’s book is inevitable. Due to its smaller nature, I’m expecting something just a bit better here, but still a drop over 60%.

This weekend last year, Guardians of the Galaxy earned $94.3 million, easily obliterating The Bourne Ultimatum’s $69.2 million to become the biggest opening the month has ever seen. Lucy had a massive drop of 53.4%, to $18.2 million, settling for second. Get on Up opened in third, with $13.6 million. The top 10 earned $167.8 million, a figure which this weekend will have some problem hitting. Anyways, here’s my top 10 estimates for the weekend:

1)Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation- $61 million (NEW!!!)
2)Vacation- $20 million (NEW!!!)

3)Ant-Man- $14.7 million (-41%)
4)Minions- $11.9 million (-48%)
5)Trainwreck- $11.8 million (-32%)
6)Pixels- $11.3 million (-53%)
7)Southpaw- $7.7 million (-54%)
8)Paper Towns- $4.6 million (-64%)
9)Inside Out- $4.59 million (-38%)
10)Jurassic World- $4.2 million (-42%)
TOP 10 ESTIMATES: $151.8 million (-9.9%)

Check back for my estimates next weekend, when Fantastic Four, The Gift, Ricki and the Flash and Shaun the Sheep Movie all launch.


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