‘Mission’ Accomplished: ‘Fallout’ $61M+ Opening Reps Record For Tom Cruise Franchise – Sunday
FINAL SUNDAY AM: With chart Paramount/Skydance’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout is opening to a franchise record of $61.5M (the same as we spotted yesterday), beating the previous series high from Mission: Impossible II ($57.8M) and 2015’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($55.5M), which we wrote three years ago repped a moment when star Tom Cruise resuscitated the franchise. He’s taken it even higher here, with Fallout also breaking global recordsfor M:I with $153.5M, beating Ghost Protocol’s $131.5M. Fallout also stands as Cruise’s second best opening at the B.O. after War of the Worlds’ 3-day of $64.8M.
Following the surprise $332.4M success of A Quiet Place, Fallout reps another big win for the Jim Gianopulos-led Paramount, as parent company Viacom scrambles to rebuild itself in this era of media mergers. Liz Raposo, Paramount’s president of production, has been the consistent on the M:I franchises, having worked on the last four films, and was on this one even during the change-up in upper management. She is M:I‘s unsung hero. Also, new marketing heads David Sameth (worldwide) and Mary Daily in international delivered a global endeavor here in regards to spreading the word about Fallout around the world.
What also matters here with the success of Fallout is the ideal pairing of star with director and material, and that’s Cruise re-teaming with Rogue Nation director and co-screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie. It’s easier said than done to execute a pairing such as this that yields box office results. On certain movies, Cruise has not had a reliable collaborator such as McQuarrie, and we mean in the sense that delivers box office results.
“The summer of CGI has met its match with a star and a director who put it on the line to create entertainment for moviegoers; it’s just so real and visceral,” beamed Paramount domestic distribution president Kyle Davies about Fallout’s success, spurred by its jaw-dropping stunts, a major facet on which the studio sold the pic.
A while back, we slammed Paramount’s Star Trek Beyond when it opened to $59.2M off a production cost that’s very similar to Fallout‘s here (around $180M), and the reason why is because that threequel (which finaled at $343.4M WW) doesn’t have the overseas legs that the M:I series holds. Cruise’s previous two M:I films churned out over 70% of their global B.O. abroad, with Rogue Nation and 2011’s Ghost Protocol delivering near $700M worldwide grosses apiece. Rogue Nation cleared close to a $110M profit after all downstream revenues, with Fallout expected to reach break-even sometime during its home entertainment window, per our finance sources.
Universal’s Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again easily took second with $15M,-57%, per the studio in weekend 2 and a 10-day of $70.4M.
Warner Bros.’ Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, the weekend’s second wide release, landed in fifth place with $10.5M. That’s OK for the $10M production, which will find its audience in the aftermarket, given its TV series fans. It’s not Blumhouse nor even New Line horror amazing from a financial profit point of view, but the studio should be fine in the end. Tony marketing with digital spend here, plus there’s a bit of a consumer products play. Realize that Teen Titans Go! is the No. 2 cable telecast for boys 6-11 this year. The Teen Titans Go! Figure game launched on July 19, ranking No. 1 in the Google Play Top New Paid chart, No. 2 in iPad Top Paid chart, and No. 5 in iPhone Top Paid chart. The overall amplification of the franchise has had a ripple effect on 2016’s Teeny Titans game, which has consistently been in the Top 20 on iPhone overall paid games and Top 10 on iPad overall paid games since the movie promotion began. That is very notable for a mobile game in the marketplace for two years. Also, the series earned its second consecutive Emmy nomination this month for the “The Self-Indulgent 200th Episode Spectacular! Pt. 1 and Pt. 2” in the Outstanding Short Form Animated Program category. On Friday, Warner Bros. announced it had sold the over-baked, over-budget Jungle Book redux Mowgli to Netflix, a wise move that prevents any Pan-like box office bomb headlines this fall (the pic was dated to open on Oct. 19). Also, the Mowgli Netflix move reps a big cost savings in regards to global P&A.
Now comes the hard part for the box office: August. With Fallout taking all the Imax screens next weekend (the large format exhibitor repped 12% of the M:I sixthquel’s opening weekend, with $7.5M at 406 auditoriums), there aren’t any left for the big pics. Studios make their summer dating decisions on whether Imax screens are available, hence last August’s lackluster product while Warner Bros.’ Dunkirk owned Imax for three weeks. There are four wide releases next weekend (four!) with Disney’s Christopher Robin looking to open in the mid $30Ms, much better than its August 2016 live action toon adaptation Pete’s Dragon ($21.5M), followed by Lionsgate’s The Spy Who Dumped Me (mid teens), Fox’s YA novel adaptation The Darkest Minds (high single digits), and Dinesh D’Souza-co-directed doc Death of a Nation (low single digits).
In promoting Fallout, Paramount tapped all the biggest possible stages to launch all content (Super Bowl, NBA Finals and trailered on every #1 movie at the B.O. for the first 14 weeks of the campaign). Bringing moviegoers’ attention to Cruise’s stunts was a huge part of the campaign, with every major launch paired with a behind-the-scenes featurette highlighting the star’s incredible commitment to real, never-been-done-before stunts. While Cruise highlighted the Halo jump at the CinemaCon presentation for Fallout, the featurette was called out during the NBA finals, dropped on YouTube in early June, and ran before Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (which is inching closer to $400M) in theaters.
Overseas, Fallout had the biggest promotional partner support of any M:I ever with $135M in media value, with key partners that included BMW, Karcher, Airbus and local partners like Shell (UK), LG (Korea), and M&Ms (France, UK). Other key partnerships include Amazon Prime Now-branded bags this month; an Uber program that included a live stream and epic digital video content (Cruise’s stunt double is an Uber driver); an ESPN promo with James Harden, who was MVP; a Visa screening program/partnership; and an American Ninja Warrior themed episode that ran on July 23.
There was a massive Viacom cross-company push for Fallout, with six different pieces of content that ran on almost every one of the conglom’s channels. Ditto for their overseas channels, which aired a 30-minute “Making-of-Movie” special across 35+ markets on both terrestrial and cable TV channels, including Channel 5 (UK) and Telefe (Argentina). There were also custom takeovers at airports, including JFK and the American Airlines terminal, with Fallout digital posters and banners.
On social media, in a means to target the Millennials, Paramount debuted the first 360-degree behind-the- scenes featurette, giving fans an unprecedented look at Cruise’s stunt work. The needle-mover earned 13M views in 24 hours. It was the top placement in the Oculus VR environment and featured on YouTube’s VR channel and Facebook’s Entertainment and 360° pages, with press support from outlets like Mashable and IGN.
And, of course, there was a big overseas sell here, with Cruise’s relentless touring that included stops in the UK, Tokyo, and Seoul, with a world premiere in Fallout‘s Paris location. The pic’s foreign campaign leaned into the World Cup, with major media buys and customized digital creative, including social gifs and memes. The iconic music from the movie was embraced around the world with stunts and influencers through music festivals, including, MTV’s Isle of Malta, Rock in Rio, I-Days Milano, and the Mad Cool Festival.
EARLY SATURDAY AM: With chart It’s another box office weekend where the movie star actually pulls the audience in, as Tom Cruise sixthquel Mission: Impossible – Fallout heads for a franchise opening record of $60M, per morning estimates at 4,386 theaters. That also doubles as Cruise’s second-best debut at the box office after War of the Worlds’ 3-day of $64.8M (which was part of a 6-day Independence day debut). Even more awesome, Fallout reps the first time that a Mission: Impossible has ever earned an A CinemaScore from moviegoers; the previous three installments receiving an A-. As mentioned earlier, Fallout is also the best reviewed M:I of all-time, with a 98% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Should Fallout ease down to the high $50Ms, any weekend result over Mission: Impossible II‘s $57.8M reps a franchise opening record.
Social Media monitor RelishMix beams that the online buzz for the Paramount/Skydance pic shows “fans of the series lining up. Those moviegoers who have already seen the film are encouraging other fans and lovers of the M:I series to definitely see it in theaters for maximum effect. They advise that the action sequences and locations, etc. really stand up to the rest. And the man who played Superman, Henry Cavill, gets plenty of love in social discussion, too. Convo suggests that this chapter in the series has more to offer than Cruise’s starring role.”
Some may have knocked Cruise recently for his waning marquee value, especially after last year’s disaster The Mummy and the critically acclaimed, yet under-performing American Made. However, take the actor out of the equation here with M:I and what do you have? When Universal’s Bourne franchise swapped out its star Matt Damon for Jeremy Renner in the fourth installment, The Bourne Legacy, the opening for that fourthquel dropped 45% from the previous installment and turned out the series’ lowest domestic take of $113M. It’s hard to imagine M:I working without Cruise, and it’s amazing that 22 years later, worldwide moviegoers have embraced his character of Ethan Hunt as another James Bond. Cruise has unraveled Hunt’s mythology gradually, which makes each M:I title all the more enticing. The M:I series has also benefited over time from burgeoning cinema markets, with the first 1996 title drawing $5.4M and $10.5M in China and South Korea, mushrooming to $41.6M and $135.6M in those Asian countries with 2015’s Rogue Nation. The franchise’s best global haul is owned by the fourth film, Ghost Protocol ($694.7M), followed by Rogue Nation ($682.7M). No doubt Fallout will greatly exceed that.
The other star here that always pulls in the crowds are the stunts, and Cruise and his creative team continually weigh what the big selling point will be with each sequel. The original had the iconic, brow-sweating Cruise on a string in a high laser-security corridor, and there are a few big ones here, namely being the Halo jump that the actor unveiled at CinemaCon (a clip that was later dropped in June and drew 1.45M Youtube views), a 30K feet jump out of a plane in which he tackles Henry Cavill’s character in mid-air, only to catch up with him again in the air and resuscitate the guy with his oxygen tank in free fall. Cruise jumped out of the plane 106 times to get it right, and the only place the production could pull the stunt off legally was in the air space above the United Arab Emirates. There are other highlights in Fallout, such as the Paris motorcycle chase and the scene where Cruise jumps across buildings (which resulted in him breaking his ankle). With all these breakneck speed scenes, audiences don’t even realize that Fallout is the longest M:I ever at 2 hours and 27 minutes.
According to ComScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak, Fallout is currently drawing 41% men over 25, 33% females over 25, 17% men under 25, and 9% females under 25, with four stars, an overall 84% positive score, and 65% definite recommend — great numbers. CinemaScore shows 55% males to 45% female versus Rogue Nation‘s more guy-oriented 62% to females 38%. Like Rogue Nation, Fallout had a heavy 25+ turnout at 82%. The 18-24 demo gave the film an A+.
RelishMix reports that Fallout‘s social media universe stands at 245M, boosted by a fantastic cast activation, with Tom Cruise promoting to his 20.4M fans, Simon Pegg to his 7.4M, and Cavill to his 6.9M. Broken out Fallout‘s SMU includes 32.1M Facebook fans, 20M Facebook video views, 18.8M Twitter followers, over 163.1M YouTube video views, and 11M Instagram Followers. Fallout’s SMU easily exceeds the usual 168M reach for an action-adventure film, and its size doesn’t include any social activity from other M:I films; it’s strictly organic to the sixth title. Twitter hashtags for #MissionImpossible, @TomCruise and @MissionFilm popped into the 26k range over the week, 274K over the month, and heading skyward.
Needle-movers online include Late Late Show host James Corden jumping out of a plane with Tom Cruise, which drew 3.3m in the last day on YouTube, besting Cruise’s appearance on The Tonight Show, where he played Mad Libs Mission: lmpossible theater with Jimmy Fallon, clocking 1.6M views over four days.
After Fallout, it’s Universal’s Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again ($15.3M in weekend 2, -56%, $70.7M total), Sony’s Equalizer 2 ($13.6M in weekend 2, -62%, $63.8M) and Hotel Transylvania 3 ($13.2M in weekend 3, -44%, $120.1M), which puts Warner Bros.’ Teen Titans Go! To the Movies in a 5th place start with $10.7M at 3,188 and a B+ CinemaScore. The feature adaptation of the WBTV/Cartoon Network series was a thrifty $10M (before P&A) synergistic play toward the series’ moppet fans, with the studio emphasizing a digital spend and early screenings at San Diego Comic-Con last weekend. When you spend this low, like a Blumhouse, you expect big returns, and this is OK. With Hotel Transylvania 3 in the marketplace, and Incredibles 2 not giving up as it approaches $573M, RelishMix’s read on Teen Titans is “more casual moviegoers insist this is the latest example of animated titles that originate from anywhere other than Pixar, and they’re just not worth their cinema dollar. Some of the humor is lost on this contingent. Further, some superhero fans are using Go! to the Movies as a soap box to debate the new DC Universe’s Titan’s show.”
One financier questions the amount of P&A expenses in regards to the pic’s opening and whether that will get the movie to some sort of break-even profit. Fallout, on the other hand, is expected to reach break-even during its home entertainment window off its estimated $180M production cost and $140M global distribution expenses.
Teen Titans saw 46% kids, 22% parents and 31% general audiences. Kids gave it four stars and general audiences 3 1/2. Boys 10-12 were the biggest kid demo at 85%, followed by boys 7-9 (81%) and girls (81%). On CinemaScore, the under 18 at 41% gave the movie its best grade of an A, while adults over 25 at 46% had little patience for the toon giving it a B-.
MIDDAY UPDATE: Paramount/Skydance’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout according to matinee estimates is looking like it could rep a franchise opening record with a $57M-$60M three-day and a Friday that’s between $22M-$25M. Some even think that the Cruise movie has a shot at hitting $63M. Note, 2000’s Mission: Impossible II‘s 3-day of its six-day Memorial Day weekend reps the 22-year old spy series’ opening record with $57.8M. Friday’s number, inclusive of the Tom Cruise Thursday night record of $6M, is already ahead of Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation‘s $20.3M first day which translated into a $55.5M opening weekend.
Warner Bros.’ Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is forecasted to bring in $5.5M today, $15.5M for the weekend.
Last weekend’s holdovers, Universal’s Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is looking at a second frame of $16M, -54% for a 10-day of $71.4M while Sony’s Equalizer 2 is looking at $13M, -64% for a 10-day of $63.2M. As we mentioned prior, Mamma Mia 2 truly rallied after Equalizer 2‘s surprise weekend win and beat the Denzel Washington movie for the week, $55.4M to $50.2M.
FRIDAY AM UPDATE OF THURSDAY EXCLUSIVE: Paramount/Skydance’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout had a great Thursday night earning $6M in Thursday night previews (we first heard $5M+ early last night) and that figure reps an all-time preview record for Tom Cruise.
Fallout is well ahead of the $4M Thursday night of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation three years ago, the actor’s previous high, and ahead of The Mummy which earned $2.66M. Imax accounted for a sweet $1M of Fallout‘s shows last night. Despite Cruise’s box office mishap last year with The Mummy, and the underperformance of the critically acclaimed American Made ($51.3M stateside), it’s quite clear, the three-time Oscar nominee hasn’t lost it at the box office, especially when it comes to the 22-year old M:I series.
Fallout has the best reviews of all the Mission: Impossible movies with 98% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. A score like that is just pure gold for any major studio when launching a four-quad event title. Fandango reported earlier this week that Fallout is Cruise’s bestselling film in regards to advance tickets. It’s also outstripping all the Jason Bourne movies.
Rogue Nation continued on to post a $20.3M Friday, a Saturday of $19.65M and final weekend of $55.5M at 3,956 theaters, making it the second-best opening for the Mission: Impossible franchise. Fallout, playing at 4,350 venues tomorrow, is the last of summer’s blockbuster openings before New Line/Warner Bros’ The Nun leads us into the fall on Sept. 7. A lot of August’s business is counting on Fallout. Paramount was projecting $50M earlier in the week for Fallout‘s start, and based on the Thursday night estimate the Cruise movie, of course, is looking to best Rogue Nation with $55M-$60M. Anything north of $57.8M this weekend, which was the FSS of Mission: Impossible II‘s six-day Memorial Day opening, sets a new opening record for the M:I series. Fallout played at 3,300 theaters last night while Rogue Nation played 2,764 during its Thursday night preview.
Jason Bourne made $4.3M in Thursday night previews two years ago off 7 PM shows at 2,928 theaters before posting a $59.2M opening.
As our fine print always reads these are very early estimates and they do not come from Paramount, but our own sources.
Warner Bros. previewed Teen Titans Go! To the Movies last night and made $1M. Teen Titans Go! cost around $10M for the studio and they’re hoping for mid teens this weekend. Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida Michail co-direct this feature take on the WBTV/Cartoon Network series.
In the war of sequels between Universal’s female-targeted Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Sony’s Equalizer 2, the former beat the latter for the week, $55.4M to $50.2M, this despite the R-rated Denzel Washington unexpectedly winning last weekend over the ABBA musical, $36M to $34.95M. This weekend Here We Go Again should hold in the -40% percentile for $19M-$20M and a 10-day of $75.4M while Equalizer 2 is looking around a -55% second weekend decline for $16M. Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 3 was actually No. 2 for the week, notching ahead of Equalizer 2 with $39M and a running total through two weeks of $106.9M, 11% ahead of part 2 which finaled at $169.7M.