Box office hits and misses: Mission: Impossible soars while Pixels plummets

weekend box office mission impossible rogue nation  cruise plane
Tom Cruise proved he was still more than capable of drawing a crowd this weekend, with Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation earning the top spot at the box office while Adam Sandler’s sci-fi comedy Pixels found itself falling rapidly down the charts both at home and abroad.

The fifth installment of the successful Mission: Impossible franchise earned $56 million in the U.S. over the weekend and $65 million internationally, bringing its three-day total to $121 million worldwide. That tally gave it the second-best domestic opening of all the films in the series, just behind the $57.8 million opening of 2000’s Mission: Impossible II. Extremely positive word-of-mouth buzz surrounding the film has many box-office pundits predicting a long stay in theaters for Rogue Nation, which has already exceeded the international opening-weekend success of its predecessor, 2011’s Mission: Impossible —Ghost Protocol, the current chart-topper for the franchise with $694.7 million in overall ticket sales.

The other big film opening this weekend was Vacation, the part-sequel, part-reboot of the National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise, starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate. The film opened early on Wednesday — likely hoping to generate some buzz before Rogue Nation entered the mix — but still only managed to stir up $21.2 million over an extended, five-day opening “weekend.”

Next in the weekend rankings were Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and Universal Pictures’ Minions, which continued to jockey for box-office position with $12.6 million and $12.2 million, respectively. This weekend’s ticket sales brought Ant-Man closer to moving past 2008’s The Incredible Hulk in the domestic box-office ranking of Marvel’s cinematic universe movies, and now the size-changing superhero’s debut needs just under $3 million to move out of the last-place position in Marvel’s movie-verse.

Closing out the top five was Adam Sandler and director Chris Columbus’ arcade adventure Pixels, which sank from last week’s underwhelming second-place opening to an even more underwhelming fifth-place finish at the weekend box office with $10.4 million domestically. So far, the film has earned $45.6 million in the U.S. and another $56.5 million internationally for a worldwide tally of $102 million — which means it likely hasn’t covered its $88 million production budget yet (given the small percentage of overseas earnings that actually go back to the studio).

The rest of the weekend’s top-10 ranks were filled out by Amy Schumer’s raunchy comedy Trainwreck ($9.7 million), director Antoine Fuqua’s boxing drama Southpaw ($7.5 million), the big-screen adaptation of John Green’s Paper Towns ($4.6 million), Pixar’s critically praised animated feature Inside Out ($4.5 million), and the record-smashing Jurassic World, which added another $3.8 million to its whopping $631.5 million tally in U.S. theaters so far.

Next weekend features the premiere of Fantastic Four, director Josh Trank’s reboot of the 20th Century Fox superhero franchise based on the popular Marvel Comics characters. Never a good sign for a film, reviews of Fantastic Four are being held until after its debut, which typically indicates that the studio is concerned about early reviews damaging a film’s opening weekend.

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