Box Office Report: Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation Mission Accomplished; Vacation Rejected

Mission Accomplished. Mission that should have been aborted right at the start. That’s how the two new wide openers last weekend have performed. Of course, the former goes to Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation, while the latter goes to Vacation, both sequels to established franchise properties which has its roots firmly attached far back in the 20th century.

Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation was widely expected to open to around $40 million over its opening weekend, which was muted as compared to previous openings. Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol wasn’t a fair comparison, since that opened in December, where openings are generally smaller and holds are generally far better, so for this purpose, I’ll be raising up previous M:I weekend opening numbers in summer- Mission: Impossible 3, the last title with a number attached to the title in this franchise, opened to $47.7 million, before closing off with $134 million, which was a letdown, considering its far below previous installments in the franchise, although this was far and beyond the best installment the franchise has seen to date, with an iconic villain in the form of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Further back, Mission: Impossible 2 opened to $78.9 million over its first 5 days, in which $57.9 million of that amount came from the official Friday- Sunday period. Mission: Impossible, all the way back in 1996, launched to $63.5 million over its first 5-days, of which $45.4 million of that came from the Friday- Sunday period. By comparing these stats with the tracking, we can all see just how soft Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation was looking to become, even though it had a well-beloved franchise reviver Ghost Protocol a few years prior which help to revitalize the franchise. Of course, thanks to the double combo of great publicity stunts worldwide and fantastic reviews (93% on Rotten Tomatoes), which more or less promised a film as promising as the one that came before, Rogue Nation defied really modest expectations and earned $55.5 million. Oh, Friday to weekend ratio stands at 1:2.73, which if you’re wondering, is fantastic for a blockbuster. Of course, with moviegoers skewing older, rush out was never meant to be really prominent. Furthermore, Mission: Impossible has always been a franchise which has been catapulted by word of mouth, which thankfully lied in this film’s favor. On the statistical and demographic side, 81% of moviegoers were 25 and older, while 62% were male. They rewarded it an A- Cinemascore. Here’s hoping it will capitalize on the quiet market from here on out (the rest of August is deprived of big-budget blockbuster friendly entertainment, apart from Fantastic Four, which people might ponder about after early reviews kinda assured us that it sucked) and continue staying the number 1 choice for moviegoers all over.

Vacation was another installment in the National Lampoon’s franchise. It’s meant to be a direct sequel to the first installment all the way back in 1983, with the cast heading back to Walley World. New Line and Warner Bros were really wishing that nostalgia was on their side, by bringing back Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo in brief cameos, to remind you that nope, this isn’t a reboot, it’s a follow-up set in the same world, and were even featured in some of the marketing material, but I guess the power of nostalgia can only bring you that far. It earned $14.68 million over its 3-day frame from Friday to Sunday, and $21.0 million over its 5-day frame. That’s far lower than the expected $30 million this film was supposed to conjure up, according to pre-release tracking. Well, I guess reviews definitely urged fans to extradite themselves from this installment, due to its 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, nowhere close to encouraging. You gotta admit, no matter how much people love Chris Hemsworth (and how much Warner Bros. knows that as to show his ripped physique so much), he still isn’t a reliable draw. The same goes for Ed Helms and Christina Applegate. On the more demographic and statistics savvy side of this discussion, Friday’s share of the weekend ratio stays at 1:3.25. It has a B Cinemascore, with those older giving it a B- rating, while those younger than 35 giving it an A- (under 18 is A). 64% of moviegoers were over the age of 25, while 53% of moviegoers were female.

Holdovers in general are really soft. Ant-Man was third, after having a remarkable two-time run at first. Unfortunately, Mission: Impossible didn’t help make matters better, and instead exacerbated the ‘injury’. When talking about injuries, I’m trying to mean that Ant-Man had a drop of 48.6% from its second weekend numbers, which if you compare with Guardians of the Galaxy’s 40.4% and Captain America: Winter Soldier’s 38.0%, isn’t even close. You might bring into account weak competition on the third weekend for both of those films- Guardians of the Galaxy was more or less one of the last hits of a really quiet summer, and hence only had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to fend off, which received a big ‘NO’ from critics (even though it was embraced by moviegoers). The latter was released in April, which if you can recall, isn’t usually a month for blockbusters- it’s only form of competition came from Heaven is for Real, which opened to $22.5 million. We are now talking about a $55 million audience-friendly blockbuster, which received astounding reviews and will probably garner repeat viewings, coming in over its third weekend. To worsen matters, next week will see Fantastic Four, which will probably be yet another big drop for Ant-Man (unless Fantastic Four gets rejected due to it’s bad production history, franchise history and reviews). Before forgetting, here’s how much it earned- Ant-Man earned $12.8 million, for a cumulative total of $132.3 million to date domestically.

Minions was up next on the charts, with $12.4 million. Sadly, Minions is an example of the difference between a well-beloved animated movie and a ‘meh’ animated movie’s post-opening weekend hold and audience retention AKA word of mouth. Minions barely had a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a far cry from the 74% rating received by Despicable Me 2. Of course, bad holds corresponded- adults found it cheesy, and nothing to take home about, and hence Minions saw a 46.0% dip from its third weekend.   In contrast, Despicable Me 2 had a dip of only 34.1%. Don’t bring in the fact that there was Mission: Impossible- 2013 also had The Wolverine over Despicable Me 2’s fourth frame, and that opened to a massive $53.1 million either. Whatever you say, you gotta admit that Minions are a hot property in Hollywood- the fact that a spin-off about them garners such massive grosses is definitely something to applaud for, considering Penguins of Madagascar didn’t really catch audience’s attention last year. It only shows that as long as people love the characters, they are gonna turn up anyway- there isn’t going to be a ‘spin-off, so VOD or DVD’ problem. Minions has earned $287.6 million to date, and is on the verge of $300 million, which it will probably pass within the next week or two. Well played, Universal Studios.

Next up, rounding off the top 5, is Pixels. That earned $10.5 million, after a 56.3% dip from last weekend. Sony was definitely wishing for something better, after what happens to be a sorely disappointing and discouraging opening weekend numbers. However, it seems like Pixels is lacking in any sort of holding power either, only further nailing Adam Sandler as a movie star of the past. At least Netflix wants him, or it will be difficult seeing him come out of this unscathed.

Paper Towns had a huge dip, after the initial rush-out of John Green’s massive fan base last weekend, having a massive 63.3% dip to $4.6 million. That’s despite its already really quiet opening weekend, so expect this to die out quickly, especially on the face of its merely decent to mediocre reviews. The film has earned $23.85 million to date.

This weekend was always going to be quieter than last year’s, for Mission Impossible was no Guardians of the Galaxy. Therefore, the box office took a bit of a hit- it was down 21% from last year, but let me reiterate, this isn’t doom for the box office. It’s merely due to last year’s bunch over performing to a large degree, and Marvel. The top 12 earned $136.2 million. Next weekend isn’t going to be any better, with Fantastic Four having no way of earning as much as last year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in its opening weekend. And, on a side note, this is probably going to be the last weekend we see Jurassic World and Inside Out, two of the biggest surprise hits of summer, in the top 10 charts. Its time to bid them farewell, it seems, after 7-8 long weeks. Until their sequels, I guess (if the latter is ever gonna get one). Regardless, here’s the top 10:
(NOTE: New films are bolded)

Rank Last Week Rank Film Weekend Gross Change Total Gross Per-Theater Average Week
1 Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation $55,520,089 $55,520,089 $14,034 1
2 Vacation $14,681,108 $21,003,442 $4,304 1
3 1 Ant-Man $12,802,644 -48.6% $132,331,563 $3,854 3
4 3 Minions $12,387,375 -46.0% $287,578,650 $3,465 4
5 2 Pixels $10,503,023 -56.3% $45,714,520 $2,821 2
6 4 Trainwreck $9,605,585 -44.4% $79,614,985 $3,245 4
7 5 Southpaw $7,617,683 -54.4% $31,675,168 $2,748 2
8 6 Paper Towns $4,637,894 -63.3% $23,854,333 $1,530 2
9 7 Inside Out $4,511,004 -39.2% $329,587,896 $2,369 7
10 8 Jurassic World $3,901,400 -45.7% $631,601,030 $2,040 8

Check back next weekend for the four way battle between Fantastic Four, The Gift, Ricki and the Flash and Shaun the Sheep Movie.

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