Box Office: Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One Cruising to Projected $78 Million Debut

Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” is defusing a bit at the domestic box office, readjusting for an estimated $78 million gross over its five-day opening. That’d be a substantial chunk behind projections headed into the weekend, which had the Tom Cruise action sequel hoping for a $90 million.

Some in the industry were expecting a “Top Gun: Maverick” halo effect for “Dead Reckoning” after last year’s legacy sequel positively ignited movie theaters, rocketing through the summer to become the fifth-highest grossing domestic release of all-time. That doesn’t seem to be the case though, as “Mission” seems to be landing around the solid numbers typical for its franchise.

The last entry, 2018’s “Fallout,” launched with a then-franchise record $61 million over three days. “Dead Reckoning” opened on Wednesday, plus previews on Tuesday evening — a bump-up in release that industry watchers suspect was implemented to take advantage of premium ticket prices for Imax, before Universal and director Christopher Nolan take over venues next weekend with their sweeping historical drama “Oppenheimer.”

Tom Cruise may have fostered a reputation as vanguard for movie theaters over the past few years, but it’s worth a reminder that his films aren’t the biggest openers on the block. Instead, they tend to draw older audiences, who are less inclined to roll out for a new release on its opening weekend. “Top Gun: Maverick” is the superlative, multiplying its $126 million three-day debut to a $718 million finish. “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” more than tripled its launch, as did the 2015 entry “Rogue Nation.”

“Dead Reckoning — Part One” sees Tom Cruise back as secret agent Ethan Hunt, recruiting his crew of super-spies to take on a very scary and very topical enemy: an all-powerful artificial intelligence called the Entity. Christopher McQuarrie returns to direct after helming the last two entries. Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby and Henry Czerny make series returns, while newcomers Hayley Atwell, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, Cary Elwes and Rob Delaney join the fray.

The film is certainly making a good impression critically, as it stands at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety chief film critic Peter Debruge named the latest “Mission: Impossible” a Critics Pick, writing that the film “delivers a formidable concept and several hall-of-fame set-pieces while somehow managing to tie the storylines back into these movies’ core mythology.”

More to come…

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