Box Office: Early Tracking Soft for ‘Mission: Impossible’

Mission Impossible trailer
Courtesy of Paramount

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” is banking on word of mouth to lift it above the box office pack.

Tom Cruise’s return to the high-flying, airplane-gripping world of espionage and adventure is expected to generate roughly $40 million when it debuts on July 31, according to pre-release tracking. That’s less than the first three “Mission: Impossible” movies did in their initial weekends, though it does beat the $29.8 million debut that “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” generated in its wide release debut.

Given the hefty pricetag, that would be a disappointing start, but if “Rogue Nation” plays like “Ghost Protocol” did, it could end up being a hit for Paramount, which is releasing the movie. “Ghost Protocol” was remarkably resilient, not dropping by more than 50% weekend to weekend until six weeks after it hit theaters. It ended its run with nearly $210 million at the Stateside box office.

Of course, “Ghost Protocol” also got a lift from critical raves and a Christmas release date that gave it more time to build up steam.

Analysts believe that “Rogue Nation,” which was filmed in such far-flung locales as Morocco and Austria, will perform well globally.’s Phil Contrino maintains that “Rogue Nation” could surpass the $694.7 million globally that “Ghost” made, setting a new record for the franchise.

“There’s a lot of goodwill left over from the last one,” he said. “International growth is so strong that even if it dips in North America, it could compensate for that overseas.”

Contrino thinks that tracking might be failing to capture audience enthusiasm for the picture in North America, and believes the picture could easily top $50 million in its debut. Facebook and Twitter activity around the film is impressive, he said.

“Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” was originally slated to open on Dec. 25, but was moved forward in January in order to get out in front of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the new James Bond adventure “Spectre.”

“Rogue Nation” stars Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Alec Baldwin, and was directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who previously worked with Cruise on “Jack Reacher.”

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  1. Catty\ says:

    So much for your tracking

  2. Ray Lomas says:

    After the Friday’s numbers, this is now trending at a $50 MM weekend. So much for the ‘soft tracking’. No matter what people think of Cruise’s acting chops, the man has charisma, style and suaveness for such roles. And plus he puts in a lot of personal effort in the action movies. If I could offer anything like a guarantee, I would say there will be at least one more MI in Cruise’s career.

  3. Dave says:

    I remember similar so-called “soft tracking” negative buzz from before the release of “edge of tomorrow”. But, i don’t get how variety decided to say the same for a franchise of this size!

  4. Sofia says:

    Will see this opening weekend! Tom cruise always delivers. This will
    Be huge!!!

  5. Jamie says:

    The film looks awesome. Can’t wait to see it!

  6. peter says:

    cannot wait for this movie!
    I have noticed a lot of movie critics are also very,very excited about it also!!
    except for variety!

    will be a BIG HIT!!

  7. peter says:

    well i not sure who is marketing the movie ,but they should be sacked !! I have seen absolutly not onr TV spot,billbord or bus ad or anything whatsoever in Australia and it is only 2 weeks out!!

  8. Pixworks says:

    If it gets bad/mediocre reviews: $40-50 million
    If it gets good/great reviews: $60-70 million

  9. Paully says:

    Still loving “Edge of Tomorrow ” from last year and American critics didn’t get it. I’m not a TC fan but his recent work has some of his best ever. Taking more chances I’m guessing..

  10. James says:

    Cruise just keeps returning to that MI well over and over again. Eventually, the numbers are going to level out or drop. Not to mention the last movie got a bump from Brad Bird at the helm and the audience won’t be convinced to go see a movie from the director of Jack Reacher and Way of the Gun. In all honesty, Cruise’s commitment to action at his age is worth some props but that’s all he seems to be doing nowadays. Back in his peak, he was mixing up action with comedy and drama. Now, he’s just this aged action figure who, while in exemplary shape, is still showing signs of age.

    • Jimoak says:

      Every part of your comment is wrong.

      1) “Cruise keeps returning to the MI well over and over again” – they’re 4 movies over 20 years. He’s done FIFTEEN other films during that time. And even if that’s true, why not? Wouldn’t you release a few sequels if they quadrupled their production costs?

      2) It got a bump from Brad Bird” – No one in the general public knows who Brad Bird is. I would venture to guess that less than 5% of the global audience for Ghost Protocol entered the theater based on his direction. Do you really think anyone going to see a Mission Impossible film knows who the director is? You’ve been reading Variety too long.

      3) Jack Reacher was a *great* film. Extremely underrated. McQuarrie is a far more capable writer/director than Brad Bird.

      4) “Tom Cruise only seems to be doing action nowadays” – Jack Reacher, Valkyrie, Rock of Ages and Lions for Lambs were not action movies. Oblivion wasn’t really an “Action” movie, either, per see. Knight and Day was a (terrible) comedy. Ghost Protocol and Edge of Tomorrow were the only 2 recent films you could firmly classify as “action,” and both were fantastic and well-received.

      5) “Back in his peak, he was mixing action with comedy” – Not really. I assume by “peak,” you mean after Top Gun and before Collateral? If so, he’s done a total of TWO films that could be considered comedies: Knight and Day and Jerry Maguire. (Rain Man is NOT a comedy). The majority of his memorable films during his “peak” were dramas/thrillers: The Firm, Jerry Maguire, Born on the Fourth of July, A Few Good Men, Rain Man, Interview with the Vampire, Eyes Wide Shut, Vanilla Sky, etc. Only 3 films during that time were really “action” films (unless you want to split hairs over Days of Thunder).

      Either way, he’s not really an “aging action star.” I’d reserve that moniker for Stallone or Bruce Willis.

      The point is, despite his kooky off-screen life, he’s still a draw, and he’s doing some of his best work RIGHT NOW. Most actors would kill to have 4 films as great as MI4, Jack Reacher, Edge of Tomorrow and Collateral over their entire careers – and those are only from the last 10 years of his career.

      • joe says:

        Action is all he does? He’s filming a fucking drama as we speak, also rock of ages (2012) was anything but drama and tho the movie lacked cruise was mazing in it. Also “oblivion” was a sci-fi mystery with spurts of action. I don’t get the ignorant cruise haters who wanna say all he does is action!

      • Julie says:

        I must admit that I had pretty much lost interest in Cruise a few years ago, I didn’t bother to read the reviews for Ghost Protocol and even skipped over it on pay for view. I only watched it after seeing The Avengers, when I finally realized that I had seen Renner in plenty of films and had always liked him, but had never registered that he was the same person. So I watched Ghost Protocol and I loved it. Since then I have watched all Cruise’s films at the theater and that man always delivers. My only complaint is that I would like to see more variety in his roles, more straight drama and comedy in between the action.

      • James says:

        And, as for my Mcquarrie comment, I agree that Mcquarrie is a better director than Bird. But, once again, Mcquarrie is not a box-office draw and is much lesser known figure outside of the industry. Personally, I thought Jack Reacher was insultingly stupid and was another example of an aging movie star trying to start another franchise dependent on action movie posturing. With that said, Way of the Gun is an awesome movie and Valkyrie was one hell of a screenplay.

      • James says:

        Thank you for your well written comments and you make some good points. With that said, yes, he is returning to the MI well again because, while Oblivion did moderately well, Jack Reacher did not perform well and every person who loved the over-rated Edge of Tomorrow loves to bring up the quality of that film but it didn’t reach expectations despite the critical acclaim. Also, if you noticed the gap between the release of each Mission Impossible is getting shorter with each release (from 5 years gaps to 4-ish). Although to be fair, MI2 poisoned the well for many people and Abrams backing the franchise has allowed for much more focus between films. As for the descriptor of aging action star, my comment had more to do with the fact that Cruise’s roles seem more and more dependent on physicality regardless of the genre Personally, I loved both Lions for Lambs (didactic though it may be) and Valkyrie which both failed horribly and steered Cruise toward more physical roles (and let’s remember that both were made in 2007/2008 when Cruise was trying to get UA off the ground with quality Cruise content). As for the comedy comment, maybe I should have just stuck with drama with comedic elements. Regardless, I stand behind the comments that Cruise seems to be operating as if there is a mandate that his physicality is what audiences want to see. I’m one of those members of the audience that seem to think he can offer more. Hopefully, Mena offers a little more of that.

      • Wayne1138 says:

        Well said fella. Saw the 10 minute preview before Terminator Genesis in IMAX and the motorbike chase was just jaw dropping. This will definitely be two views in IMAX for me, even if its half as good as Ghost Protocol. it will do MUCH better and get better praise overseas than the U.S thats for sure where taste leaves a lot to be desired with such U.S ‘hits’ as 21/22 Jump Street and Neighbours. All three films I found to be absolute garbage.

      • Jake says:

        Thank you, well said!

  11. Jenn t says:

    They need to learn some lessons from the marketing teams for antman and jurassic

  12. Al Swearengen says:

    It’s frustrating that people seem to be unable to separate the person from the actor. Tom Cruise goes above and beyond the call of duty for action roles, he’s always game for doing crazy stunts and rarely allows a stunt double to cover for him.

    I couldn’t care less what his religious views are, I am there to watch a movie not debate religion.

    Edge of Tomorrow was such a breath of fresh air last year, it deserved to do much better at the box office.

  13. kenfurman46 says:

    One foam face too many…

  14. Nikki says:

    This movie will be do big numbers! The analyst who did this research and his boss, that signed off on the finding and okayed this for print, need to be fired.

  15. Bill says:

    Quite frankly, I know a lot of people who loved the past MI films who are refusing to go after seeing the HBO Scientology documentary.

  16. home31 says:

    Tom Cruise is great in his films and Mission Impossible is Tom Cruise! I love the action, the stunts he does makes it worth the trip alone! The team effort is also a plus, everyone gets a chance to shine! This will be no different! Here’s my money you can have it and the next Mission will no doubts be just as awesome! If it’s as good as Ghost Protocol people will go, simple as that!

    • joe says:

      A bunch of morons listening to a one sided documentary? Not defending it but only an idiot would see something with only one side presented and take it as fact!

    • H.M. says:

      Please disappear you shamelessly obvious studio hack, I mean um, home31. And oh yeah – do ride on your exclamation points.

      • Orvillo says:

        Actually, that person sounds more grounded in reality than most here. He/she is on point: The last MI was a great film, and Cruise rarely releases an AWFUL film. And to be quite honest, he/she was right about the cast each getting their moment to shine – unlike MI2, which was more of a Bond film.

  17. karl says:

    I’m definitely going, pre-release tracking has been pin the tail on the donkey recently

  18. Francesca says:

    Well, truth be told some viewers are getting tired of the Tom Cruise model that happens in EVERY film: he takes his shirt off to show he’s got a decent body for someone his age; no matter what, ONLY his character can save the day; no matter what situation he’s put in, within seconds he’s turned the tables on the bad guys; no matter what, he’s ALWAYS the smartest person in the room; he always runs like Hymie (with hands stiff as a board) from Get Smart; and (drum roll please…) ever OVERACTS! It’s like he went to the William Shatner School of Acting. TONE IT DOWN. Have a character arc. Show some emotion. Why go spend money film after film, when he PLAYS THE SAME CHARACTER EVERY TIME.

    There’s a reason he’s an MOVIE STAR and not an actor.

    • Orvillo says:

      I’d engage you in a debate, but you know obviously nothing about acting. If you think Tom Cruise isn’t an “Actor,” get your head examined. I was under the impression that people who read Variety were knowledgeable – but I guess that hasn’t been the case since it was solely a print medium. Now, anyone with a keyboard can write ridiculously stupid comments like yours anywhere.

    • Gustavo H.R. says:

      He is most definetely an actor. Quit writing trash in the internet and go rent The Color of Money, Born on the Fourth of July, Magnolia and Minority Report to see what he is capable of when the writing allows him.

    • dave says:

      rainman, a few good men… born on the fourth of july… jerry maguire. just to name a few…. all proof of how great an actor he is. but lately hes been making action movies. ( nothing wrong with that. he might as well do them while he still can, he can return to meatier roles in his later career and too old to run around anymore ) thats what his fans like. why change a formula that works?? the list you made is exactly what im expecting from mi5 and exactly why im going to be there when its released at the end of the month.. anyway, he wasnt the best or smartest person in the room in Edge of Tomorrow. in the beginning he was quite cowardly, inexperienced and im pretty sure he didnt take his shirt off either lol.

  19. Bill B. says:

    This does surprise me at all. I saw the previews twice and it doesn’t look at all special and it had the feel of been there, done that. Add in the increasing unpopularity of Cruise and I think this will be a disappointment, but it may still make its money back, though this will probably be the last, but in today’s film world, probably nothing is the last. They’ll bring it back in 5 to 7 years with a new lead.

  20. mark says:

    I will definitely see it. But I’m sure all the Cruise haters will crawl away from their porn or video games for a few minutes to start spewing insults about Cruise.

    • Murica! says:

      You’re clearly delusional! There is no MI without Tom Cruise. Ghost Protocol was a big succes and if this movie is succesfull there will definitely be another sequel WITH Tom Cruise in a couple of years.

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