Two decades-old franchises hit theaters this weekend, but only one stood the test of time.
“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” opened in first place with an estimated $56 million, a terrific boost for the spy series and its star, Tom Cruise. But audiences didn’t get away with “Vacation,” and the latest installment in the comedy series once anchored by Chevy Chase from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. followed in second place with a disappointing $14.9 million for the weekend.
Holdovers “Ant-Man” and “Minions” followed in third and fourth place, respectively.
The latest “Mission: Impossible,” which sported a hefty budget of $150 million, is the fifth movie inspired by the classic television show to be released by Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures. The new movie had a similar opening to the second “Mission: Impossible,” which had a three-day opening of $57.8 million and went on to gross $215 million in 2000.
“Ghost Protocol,” the previous “Mission: Impossible” opened in December 2011, but Paramount moved this latest film forward to the early-August weekend where Walt Disney Co. had massive success with “Guardians of the Galaxy” last year. That scheduling change also avoided competing with late-2015 releases “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the James Bond film “Spectre,” said Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore.
Overseas, the movie has grossed $65 million, so far opening in markets that have traditionally represented about 40% of the franchise’s international market share. It will open in China next month.
The movie’s opening also restores some star wattage to Cruise, whose drawing power at the box office had been called into question after recent disappointments like “Edge of Tomorrow” and “Oblivion.” The “Mission: Impossible” opening this weekend is the best for one of his films since “War of the Worlds” in 2005.
“Vacation,” on the other hand, missed expectations with its debut. Starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate in the latest story of a family getaway gone awry, the movie comes 18 years after the last series installment, “Vegas Vacation,” which opened to $12.8 million and ultimately grossed $36.4 million.
“Vacation” also stars original the original Griswold mom and dad, Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, though the film’s dismal reviews may have cut into its box-office receipts. “Vacation” opened on Wednesday, and its five-day total is $21.2 million. Helping its case: a modest budget of $30 million.
Audiences gave “Mission: Impossible” an “A-“ grade, according to the CinemaScore market research firm. “Vacation” received a “B.” Year-to-date box office is up 8.3%, according to Rentrak Corp.