Box Office: Rogue Nation Stomps Ants And Pixels With $56 Million Opening

We were missing in action last week because, frankly, there were no major developments with what debuted. Ant-Man held on to the top spot, while Adam Sandler’s Pixels underperformed, as did John Green’s Paper Towns (when compared to the successful debut of last year’s The Fault in Our Stars). Then there’s the boxing drama Southpaw, which gave adults a mainstream release alternative to the summer tentpoles.

This week was a different story. We had Warner Bros. rebooting the Vacation series dropping Clark and Ellen Griswold and having it centered on their son Rusty (Ed Helms as adult Rusty) and his family. Opening on Wednesday with an estimated $3.8 million, its weekend take of $14.85 million was enough to secure the second spot, as Marvel’s Ant-Man dropped to third place with $12.6 million. In three weeks it has made $132.1 million in the U.S.

Tom Cruise was the big winner as his Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation topped the box office with a $56 million opening. That is the second-best opening for the series behind 2000’s Mission: Impossible 2. For Cruise, this is his best opening since 2005’s War of the Worlds which debuted with $64.8 million. With the exception of Jack Reacher and his supporting turns in Lions for Lambs and Rock of Ages, since 2003 he’s had a string of movies that have opened at $20 million or better. Not bad for an actor whose couch-jumping incident on a 2006 episode of Oprah was thought to have derailed his star power. But if Rogue Nation and his dalliances with the sci-fi genre (see the recent Edge of Tomorrow and Oblivion) are an indication, Cruise has proven to be Teflon and the best action hero in movies today.

The other major news in the top 10 is audience percentage drops for some holdovers. Having attracted the YA crowd last week for Paper Towns, the drama saw a decrease of 63.6%, which was worse than Pixels‘s 56.7% drop – if you can believe that. With another $12.2 million Minions is nearing $300 million US. Judd Apatow’s and Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck had the best audience retainer for movies in the top 10 that have been in theaters for less than a month. Dropping its screen count below 3,000, the adult comedy has made $79.7 million versus a budget of $35 million.

Box office heavyweights Inside Out and Jurassic World are nearing a top 10 exit after pummeling each other and the competition for two months. Pixar’s latest should finish its run close to $350 million, while the Jurassic Park franchise is far from extinction as it is likely to finish with $645 million US.

In limited release, A24’s The End of the Tour debuted on four screens and raked in $126k. There’s already talk that Jason Segel is a dark horse to nab an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Should A24 follow a theater roll out like it did with Ex Machina, it could be yet another profitable indie for the studio for 2015.

On tap for the weekend we have Fantastic Four, Meryl Streep and Rick Springfield in Ricki and the Flash, Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep, and Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut, The Gift. The favorite has to be Fantastic Four based on allotment of screens, but look out for The Gift. It’s received some decent buzz. Kids may flock to Shaun the Sheep but its lack of dialogue and stop-motion animation (from the studio that gave us Wallace and Gromit) may keep families away.

Top 10 below.

01. Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation – $56 Million
02. Vacation – $14.85 Million ($21.1 Million)
03. Ant-Man – $12.6 Million ($132.1 Million)
04. Minions – $12.2 Million ($287.4 Million)
05. Pixels – $10.4 Million ($45.6 Million)
06. Trainwreck – $9.7 Million ($79.7 Million)
07. Southpaw – $7.5 Million ($31.5 Million)
08. Paper Towns – $4.6 Million ($23.8 Million)
09. Inside Out – $4.5 Million ($329.6 Million)
10. Jurassic World – $3.8 Million ($631.5 Million)

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