Paramount/Skydance’s “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” has earned a box office launch consistent with that of past installments of the Tom Cruise action series, earning a 5-day opening of $80 million from 4,327 domestic theaters with a franchise-best global opening of $235 milllion.
By comparison, “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” earned a 5-day domestic opening of $77.5 million back in 2018 from a Fri.-Tues. launch, and overseas “Dead Reckoning” is 15% ahead of “Fallout” in like-for-like markets excluding China, where “Dead Reckoning” has joined almost every other Hollywood film in the past year in seeing a precipitous drop to $25.4 million, compared to $77 million for “Fallout.”
The problem for “Dead Reckoning” is that while it is performing like a “Mission: Impossible” film, it carries a much higher reported production budget of $290 million — compared to $177 million for “Fallout” — thanks to pandemic filming delays and cost overruns. It is a situation that has faced multiple tentpole movies released this summer, from “Fast X” to “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.”
The good news is that reception for “Mission: Impossible 7” has been as strong as its predecessors with an A on CinemaScore, Rotten Tomatoes scores of 96% critics and 94% audience, and a spectacular 90% positive rating on PostTrak. Considering that past “Mission” films, along with Tom Cruise’s record-breaking “Top Gun: Maverick,” have been able to leg out for weeks if not months thanks to that strong word-of-mouth, there’s a chance that “Dead Reckoning” could reach that higher break-even point.
But “Mission: Impossible 7” will have to do so against stiff competition next week in the form of Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” and Universal’s “Oppenheimer,” the latter of which will be taking all Imax screens for a three-week engagement while the former has a shot at becoming the summer’s third $100 million-plus opening. With both of those films also expected to earn strong audience buzz, next weekend is shaping up to be the most competitive one the box office has seen since movie theaters reopened in 2021.
In second is Angel Studios’ runaway indie hit “Sound of Freedom” with $25 million in its second weekend. Since its opening on July 4, the Jim Caviziel action film about human trafficking has earned $83 million, passing the $77.1 million domestic total of A24’s Oscar winner “Everything Everywhere All at Once” to become the top grossing independent release since theaters reopened.
“Sound of Freedom” has been able to do this thanks to Angel Studios’ “Pay It Forward” system, which allows the studio’s fans to buy up tickets that others can claim for free. How many of these tickets have actually been claimed and used at theaters is not immediately clear, but so far over 7 million tickets have been purchased through the Pay It Forward page.
Sony/Screen Gems/Blumhouse’s “Insidious: The Red Door” is third with $13 million in its second weekend, dropping approximately 60% from its $32 million opening. The $16 million horror film is another low budget hit for Sony and Blumhouse, grossing $58 million domestic and $122 million worldwide through two weekends.
Disney completes the top 5 with Lucasfilm’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” in fourth with $12 million grossed in its third weekend, as the struggling tentpole has inched past $300 million worldwide with totals of $145 million domestic and $302 million global.
Things look a little better for another Disney release, Pixar’s “Elemental,” which also passed the $300 million mark this weekend with $8.6 million grossed domestically in its fifth frame.
While still not profitable against its reported $200 million budget, “Elemental” has earned strong word-of-mouth and has quietly legged out from the worst opening weekend in Pixar history to a running total of $125 million domestic and $311 million worldwide, becoming the year’s highest grossing original film.
More to come…