Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” soared to a record $6 million on Thursday night.
The earnings (from 3,300 North American locations) are well above “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’s” 2015 preview gross of $4 million. The film set an all-time preview record for the franchise and Cruise.
Thursday night showings at Imax locations contributed $1 million to the $6 million take for “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.”
Paramount’s sixth installment of the franchise is expected to dominate the weekend with forecasts ranging from $50 million to $65 million at 4,386 sites. “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” arrives as the best-reviewed title in the series with a stellar 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Mission Force join with CIA assassin August Walker, played by Henry Cavill, to prevent a global nuclear attack.
Warner Bros.’ “Teen Titans Go! to the Movies” took in $1 million from Thursday night previews. The animated film has a surprising 96% approval on Rotten Tomatoes and hopes to scoop up between $13 million and $19 million as the only other wide release of the weekend. Based on the DC Comics TV series created by Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath, the animated family film follows the eponymous heroes, who attempt to convince a Hollywood director to make a movie about them.
Cruise has been promoting “Fallout” by detailing one of the film’s major stunts, in which he fell at 200 mph to complete a skydiving scene that required 106 takes. The three-minute scene takes place above Paris at sunset as Cruise and Cavill skydived at 25,000 feet into a lightning storm. On Thursday night, James Corden showed an 11-minute clip on the “Late Late Show” in which the terrified talk show host joined the star for a skydive from 15,000 feet.
2015’s “Rogue Nation” had a solid $55.5 million U.S. launch and wound up with $192 million domestically and $682 million worldwide. The highest opener in the franchise was 2000’s “Mission: Impossible 2” with $57.8 million, while 2011’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” was the lowest at $29.6 million.
“Mission: Impossible — Fallout” is helmed by Christopher McQuarrie, who returned to the director’s chair after “Rogue Nation.” He also wrote the script for “Fallout.” The first four films were directed by Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams, and Brad Bird.
The movie is produced and financed by Paramount, and partner Skydance Productions, headed by David Ellison. Cruise is a producer along with McQuarrie, J.J. Abrams and Jake Myers. Exec producers are Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger.
Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin, Michelle Monaghan, and Sean Harris are reprising their roles from previous films, while Cavill and Vanessa Kirby are joining the cast. The franchise is based on the TV series that ran from 1966 to 1973.
Overall domestic summer moviegoing has jumped by 10.5% to $3.21 billion as of July 24, according to comScore, with Disney’s “Incredibles 2” leading the way. The 2018 total has reached $7.16 billion, up 7.6% from last year.
“Set the weekend for Cruise control as the latest installment of the ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise leaps into theaters while enjoying among the best reviews of the franchise and the OMG-inducing stunt level cranked up to eleven. [It] could post one of the biggest debuts in the history of the venerable action series,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore.