Sunday, August 2, 2015

Rogue Nation Conquers The Box Office While Vacation Goes Nowhere

Both Tom Cruise and Mission: Impossible proved their box office worth this weekend, with the franchises newest entry, Rogue Nation, garnering a great $56 million over the frame. That's just below the opening of Mission: Impossible II (which grossed $57 million, unadjusted for inflation, in 2000), and in terms of this summers blockbusters, is ahead of the $54 million debut of San Andreas and just behind the $57 million opening haul of Ant-Man.

Tracking for this movie had been lackluster in the past few weeks, but the film played out similarly to Mad Max: Fury Road, another summer 2015 feature with subpar tracking. Both movies, however, garnered outstanding critical reviews that boosted their profile tremendously. It didn't hurt Tom Cruise combated images issues stemming from his involvement with Scientology by doing numerous talk show appearances, namely a lip-sync battle with Jimmy Fallon that went viral.

While it had to deal with two more summer blockbusters over the next two weeks (Fantastic Four and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.), Ethan Hunt and his crew should be fine in the long haul, especially since they'll have great word-of-mouth and the forthcoming Labor Day holiday to further advance their box office haul. Don't be shocked if this one manages to cross $170 million when the dust settles, a great haul for a nineteen year old franchise that shows no signs of stopping.

Vacation, on the other hand, likely put the final nail in the coffin of the Vacation franchise, coming in second place with a meager $14.8 million for a five day haul of $21.1 million. This one doesn't have too huge of a budget (it only cost $31 million), so Warner Bros./New Line Cinema aren't gonna be bleeding too hard on this underperformance, but this is a disappointing result considering the large scale marketing effort the film had and the hit-or-miss nature of comedies this summer.

Coming in at third place was Ant-Man, dipping 49% for a $12.6 million third weekend. The Marvel superhero has grossed $132.1 million so far and should surpass the final gross of fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe release The Incredible Hulk on Tuesday. Fellow holdover Minions came in at fourth place, grossing $12.2 million for a $287.3 million total. These animated creations are likely going to make $320 million by the end of their run.

Rounding out the top five was Pixels, losing 56% from last weekend. That's not an atrocious dip, but the film hasn't at all rebounded from its middling opening weekend. With a current lifetime gross of $45.6 million, it has surpassed the final gross of That's My Boy and will gross more than Blended by the end of the week. It's probably looking at a final total of $60-65 million.

Pixels wasn't the only new release from last weekend to have a presence at the box office this go around, with Southpaw losing 55% in its second frame for a $7.5 million second weekend. That's a surprisingly steep dip for the film, though it's current final gross of $31.5 million is good enough to alleviate any concerns. Paper Towns had a much harsher dip, holding better than The Fault In Our Stars but still dropping 63% for a $4.6 million haul. It's currently grossed $23.8 million, just below half of what The Fault In Our Stars made in one weekend.

The End of The Tour was by far the most successful of this weekends new releases, making $126 thousand at only four locations. It's per theater average of $31,500 indicates solid attendance per location, so look for A24 to expand this one into wide release in the coming weeks. Conversely, Radius-TWC released A LEGO Brickumentary into 93 theaters this weekend to dismal results, with the film only making $42,000 for the frame, or $452 per theater. Looks like the Jason Bateman narrated feature will have to wait until home video to find some sort of audience.

The Top 12 for the weekend grossed $136.2 million, down 21% from last year when Guardians of The Galaxy debuted and made a little bit of cash at the box office.

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