Mission: Impossible- Dead Reckoning Part One saw a franchise best 5-day opening of just over $80 million
Well, it certainly wasn’t the gang busters weekend we had anticipated, but Mission: Impossible- Dead Reckoning Part One was still able to pull off the best 5-day opening of the franchise with a little over $80 million, beating the 5-day take of 2000’s Mission: Impossible- 2’s $78.8 million when the average ticket price was $5.39 compared to 2023’s $10.45. However Dead Reckoning Part One’s 3-day take of $56.2 million will fall short of 2018’s Fallout record of $61.2 million.
So what does this all mean? Well, just a few weeks ago we gave the death knell to Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny for opening to such low numbers, that are actually better than what Dead Reckoning did. So why is this not a code red for the Tom Cruise fronted franchise? Well for starters, reviews for Mission: Impossible are far better than they were for Indy with a 96% Rotten Tomatoes score against a 68%. Audience scores are also higher, 94% to 88%, even the cinemascore for Mission is slightly higher with an A against Indy’s B+. Couple that with solid international numbers that should see the latest Ethan Hunt adventure opening to around $240 million, while Indy only managed to hit that mark after a few weeks of release.
Look, no one is saying this opening is a massive success and a savior to the box office the way we did last year when Top Gun: Maverick opened with $160.5 million on its Memorial Day weekend launch. With the exception of that massive opening, Tom Cruise films, much like the fuse at the beginning of a Mission: Impossible title sequence have always been a bit of a slow burn. Even Top Gun: Maverick’s $160.5 million is just 22.3% of that films final domestic tally of $718.7 million. His films tend to be aimed at an audience that doesn’t always rush out to theaters on opening weekend.
Of course this plays into what I have been saying all summer long: it is time these studios reign in these massive budgets! Don’t get me wrong, I love a big massive action spectacle on the big screen as much as anyone, but when you give a budget of $300 million to one movie, and that is before the massive spend on marketing, you expect nearly a billion dollars back in order to see profit, and as we all are learning from the recent WGA and SAG-Aftra strikes, studio math isn’t always an exact science (I.E studios lie about profits as a way to never have to pay out the creatives involved with the film and instead line their own pockets with lucrative bonuses added to their already astronomical yearly salaries, all while decrying fair compensation for those of us who create the content which allows them to live so lavishly. Proud member of Sag-Aftra since 2012 right here!)
So, for right now, Mission: Impossible- Dead Reckoning Part One is kind of a Schrödinger’s cat, in that, for right now, it is neither a hit nor a bomb. The full picture will come into play next week when the film faces off against the highly anticipated double bill release of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. As those films should land in the one and two spots next weekend, that will see Dead Reckoning Part One drop to third place. Will the headline next week be the strong box office of three tent pole sized films in the marketplace or will we be discussing yet another implosion of a long running franchise? I hope its the former, because I really enjoyed Dead Reckoning Part One as did our Editor in Chief Chris Bumbray when he gave it a 9/10 in his review.
There were actually other movies in theaters this weekend and one of those movies, Sound of Freedom, was actually filmed five years ago, got lost in the shuffle when Disney purchased 20th Century Fox, was then acquired by independent distributor Angel Films, whose only other wide theatrical release was the 2023 film His Only Son which managed over $12 million off a $250,000 budget. The film has garnered some controversy since its release a few weeks back, and whether you agree or disagree with that controversy, you can not deny how this film is absolutely crushing it at the box office. How else to explain that it actually gained 37% this weekend with a $27 million finish. The film has its fan base, and those fans are turning up in droves to support this faith based tale of Child Trafficking. You can check out Chris Bumbray’s 6/10 review here.
Third place belongs to Insidious: The Red Door which is losing the horror movie standard 61% in its second weekend for a weekend take of $13 million. With a budget of just $16 million, the over $58 million it has amassed so far at the domestic box office is more than enough to call this fifth entry in the horror franchise a solid hit.
Losing another 56% of its audience is Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny with an estimated $12 million weekend finish and a running domestic total of $145.3 million while Disney may not like the story surrounding that film, they have two other films in the top ten to feel good about as Elemental continues to surprise after its lackluster debut as this weekend it only shed 13% of its audience for an $8.7 million finish as it slowly climbs its way to a respectable domestic total while tenth place belongs to The Little Mermaid in its eighth week of release with an additional $2.3 million added to its $293.9 million domestic total.
The remainder of the top ten are your holdover titles such as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse continuing its stellar run with an additional $6 million added to its domestic total of $368.7 while Transformers: Rise of the Beasts continues holding on with another $3.4 million added to its $152.7 million domestic total. The battle of the R rated comedies No Hard Feelings and Joy Ride saw a flip in chart positions as good word of mouth has propelled the Jennifer Lawrence starring film to an eighth place finish with $3.3 million while Joy Ride loses 56% of its audience with a $2.5 million weekend (you can check out my review 4/10 of Joy Ride here.)
Do you think it is time to sound the alarms on Mission: Impossible- Dead Reckoning Part One? Or will this one play out like all the other films in the franchise and leg out to a respectable finish? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check out our weekly poll where this week we ask What is your Favorite Mission: Impossible Film?