After six movies, 22 years, countless bruises and a broken ankle, Tom Cruise's death-defying Mission: Impossible stunts continue to pay off at the box office.
Mission: Impossible — Fallout easily took the No. 1 spot on the domestic charts this weekend. Paramount Pictures estimates that it earned $61.5 million (Dh226) from 4,386 North American theatres.
Not accounting for inflation, it's a best for the long-running franchise, which has grossed $2.8 billion worldwide, and one of Cruise's biggest too (just shy of War of the Worlds $64.9 million debut in 2005). Internationally, the film earned $92 million from 36 markets which is also a franchise best.
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, Fallout has scored some of the best reviews in the series and has been in the news cycle for almost a year. Talk about the film started early, in August of 2017, when Cruise broke his ankle performing a stunt in London with video to prove it.
"Paramount was strategically perfect in their marketing and publicity game," said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "They showed how important a star's presence is in marketing the movie early on. Tom Cruise broke his ankle and they made that into a positive for the movie — it fed the Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible mystique."
Second place went to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which fell 57 per cent in its second weekend in theatres, to earn $15 million. It was a much steeper decline than the first film, which dropped only 36 per cent between its first and second weekends.
Denzel Washington's The Equalizer 2 slid to third with $14 million in weekend two, and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation took fourth with $12.3 million.
The animated Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, a feature spinoff of the Cartoon Network television show about Robin and some of the lesser-known DC superheroes was the only major film to open against Fallout. The Warner Bros. release earned $10.5 million and landed in fifth place.
The film earned positive reviews from critics and younger audiences, but also faced a fair amount of animated competition from both Hotel Transylvania 3 and Incredibles 2, which is still going strong in its seventh weekend and headed toward the $1 billion mark. As of Sunday the Disney/Pixar sequel had earned an estimated $996.5 million globally.
But although $10.5 million might seem on the lower side, Teen Titans also cost only $10 million to produce.
"Family movies like this will play for a lot of weeks," said Warner Bros.' domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein. "The whole objective of this movie was to work with our cousins in other Warner units for brand identification."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theatres, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday.