Los Angeles — After six movies, 22 years, countless bruises and a broken ankle, Tom Cruise's death-defying Mission: Impossible stunts continue to pay off at the box office.
Mission: Impossible — Fallout easily took the No. 1 spot on the domestic charts this weekend. Paramount Pictures estimates that it earned $61.5m from 4 386 North American theatres.
Not accounting for inflation, it's a best for the long-running franchise, which has grossed $2.8bn worldwide, and one of Cruise's biggest too (just shy of War of the Worlds $64.9m debut in 2005). Internationally, the film earned $92m from 36 markets which is also a franchise best.
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, Fallout has scored some of the best reviews in the series and has been in the news cycle for almost a year. Talk about the film started early, in August of 2017, when Cruise broke his ankle performing a stunt in London with video to prove it.
"Paramount was strategically perfect in their marketing and publicity game," said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "They showed how important a star's presence is in marketing the movie early on. Tom Cruise broke his ankle and they made that into a positive for the movie — it fed the Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible mystique."
Second place went to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which fell 57 percent in its second weekend in theatres, to earn $15m. It was a much steeper decline than the first film, which dropped only 36 percent between its first and second weekends.
Denzel Washington's The Equalizer 2 slid to third with $14m in weekend two, and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation took fourth with $12.3m.
The animated Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, a feature spinoff of the Cartoon Network television show about Robin and some of the lesser-known DC superheroes, was the only major film to open against Fallout. The Warner Bros. release earned $10.5m and landed in fifth place.
The film earned positive reviews from critics and younger audiences, but also faced a fair amount of animated competition from both Hotel Transylvania 3 and Incredibles 2, which is still going strong in its seventh weekend and headed toward the $1bn mark. As of Sunday the Disney/Pixar sequel had earned an estimated $995.5m globally.
But although $10.5m might seem on the lower side, Teen Titans also cost only $10m to produce.
"Family movies like this will play for a lot of weeks," said Warner Bros.' domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein. "The whole objective of this movie was to work with our cousins in other Warner units for brand identification."