Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout zoomed past the $500 million worldwide. That includes a new domestic total of $180m after 24 days of North American release. The Paramount/Viacom Inc. action sequel fell just 46% this weekend. That’s a larger drop/smaller gross than the fourth weekend of Rogue Nation, but the likes of Mile 22 and The Meg are creating demographic competition in a way that Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Fantastic Four did not three years ago.
Although, inflation notwithstanding, it had a bigger fourth-weekend drop and smaller fourth-weekend ($10 million) gross than any of the prior four Mission: Impossible movies save for M:I back in 1996 and M:I 3 in 2006. So, yeah, it’s losing leg traction compared to its predecessors, and its fourth-weekend drop is closer to War for the Planet of the Apes (-41%) than Star Trek Beyond (-31%). The film’s $181m cume is just below the $181m unadjusted total of Mission: Impossible back in 1996 (around $380m adjusted for inflation).
Once it gets past $190 million, it’ll have sold more tickets in North America than Mission: Impossible III ($134m un 2006). And if it continues to play like, for example, Star Trek Beyond, Jason Bourne and War for the Planet of the Apes (films that took bigger second-weekend dives), it’s still looking at an over/under $205m domestic total. A run closer to Rogue Nation or The Bourne Supremacy (around 1.25x its 24-day total), we’re looking at a $220-$225m domestic finish.
That’ll put it past the unadjusted totals of every Tom Cruise movie save War of the Worlds ($235 million in 2005). There’s a chance, however remote, that it legs it like Guardians of the Galaxy and ends up with a just-under $240m domestic cume. Again, that’s unlikely with so much action competition, but this weekend really is the last biggie of the season (I’ll happily eat my words if Happytime Murders breaks out), so it’ll have some time before The Nun and Peppermint on Sept. 7.
Credit some obvious factors, such as rave reviews, audience goodwill from the last two installments, Tom Cruise’s potent draw when he’s playing Ethan Hunt (which at this point is near-autobiographical) and the franchise becoming a true ensemble piece. Folks aren’t just showing up for Cruise, but also the likes of Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg and Henry Cavill’s mustache. Whether or not the increase in continuity or the ensemble factor made a difference, it should be noted that Mission: Impossible has taken bits and pieces from the soft reboots of Fast and the Furious (“Family!”) and the James Bond franchise (“It’s all connected!”) and created a superior modern-day action franchise.
A $220 million domestic total would put it in 11th place when adjusted for inflation for all Tom Cruise flicks, between Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation and Interview with the Vampire. Worldwide is a slightly different story. The film has earned $320m overseas for a whopping $500m worldwide, already making it Cruise’s fifth-biggest global earner (exchange rates, inflation, 3D bumps or overseas expansion) behind Mission: Impossible II ($546m in 2000), War of the Worlds ($592m in 2005), Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($683m in 2015) and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol ($695m in 2011/2012).
It’s playing in 3D in some territories, including China where it opens on Aug. 31. Yeah, it hasn’t opened in China yet. Paramount/Viacom Inc.’s last two M:I flicks earned $136 million in 2015 and $102m in 2011/2012 respectively. That’s presumably a proverbial glitter bomb waiting to go off in two weeks. Unless it stumbles there (as well as Italy and Greece over the same week), Tom Cruise is looking at his first $700m+ global grosser. None of this includes inflation, but that’s for another day.
Depending on how well it performs in China and elsewhere, it could very well be his first $750-$800 million one as well. Once it passes Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc.’s Ready Player One ($588m), it’s going to be the year’s second-biggest non-superhero flick behind Universal/Comcast Corp.’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($1.28 billion). Whether it keeps that arbitrary title depends on how well Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and maybe Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns or Paramount’s own Bumblebee perform.