Tom Cruise has arrived back in theaters with a bang, with “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” reeling in $4 million on Thursday night.

The preview showings began at 8 p.m. at 2,764 locations. The gross is comparable to “Mad Max,” which earned $3.7 million in evening shows; “World War’s” $3.6 million; and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'” $4.1 million.

Paramount’s fifth “Mission: Impossible” expands to 3,956 locations on Friday. The studio’s extensive marketing campaign has centered on the 53-year-old Cruise clinging to the side of an Airbus A400 plane during takeoff.

The action adventure, which carries a hefty $150 million budget, is on pace to open to $40 million over the weekend. Some analysts think that number could rise to $50 million, given the strong critical support for the film.

“Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” is set in Morocco, Austria and the U.K. as Cruise’s Ethan Hunt tracks a organization hellbent on mucking about with the global economy and assassinating world leaders. The film should play well overseas and will bow in 40 international countries this weekend, including Mexico, Australia and Korea.

Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson also star. Christopher McQuarrie directs from his own script. David Ellison’s Skydance produced with Paramount. Producers are Cruise, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger with Jake Myers exec producing.

Cruise’s three most recent films — “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Oblivion” and “Jack Reacher” — generated solid, rather than spectacular, box office earnings. The sci-fier “Edge of Tomorrow” reached $100 million in the U.S. and brought in another $269 million internationally.

2011’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” took in $209 million in the U.S. and $485 million internationally.

New Line’s rebooted “Vacation” has taken in a respectable $6.3 million in its first two days. It opened Wednesday with $3.8 million at 3,310 U.S. locations, including $1.2 million from preview showings on Tuesday night, then followed with $2.5 million on Thursday.

The raunchy comedy, starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate, is expected to take in another $20 million this weekend.

“Vacation,” which carries a modest $31 million budget, is launching 32 years after the original. Helms plays the grown-up Rusty Griswold, who decides to take his own family to the fictional California theme park Walley World. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo return as Rusty’s parents.

“Vacation,” which has received mostly negative reviews, with a 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, marks the directorial debut of screenwriters Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley.