Warner Bros./New Line’s updated sequel Vacation started its weekend journey last night at 7 PM, gassing up $1.2M. The film, which follows Clark Griswold’s son, Rusty, in his return to Walley World, opens 32 years to the day after the 1983 original Chevy Chase film National Lampoon’s Vacation.
On the lower end of projections,Vacation is on track to earn $20M over FSS and in the low-$30M range for the Wednesday through Sunday span. Warner Bros. believes it has something hysterical on their hands — despite what the critics think at a 24% Rotten Score — and have been screening the film extensively since the beginning of July, with a pit stop at Comic-Con. R-rated comedies have turned in erratic returns in regards to their initial projections. While Trainwreck doubled its initial estimates with a $30M opening, Spy came in slightly under its $30M forecast (with $29.1M) and Ted 2 charted a $33.5M FSS, well below the $45M-$50M the industry was expecting.
Per Fandango yesterday, Vacation was outpacing advance ticket sales of We’re The Millers ($24M opening), while Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which opens Friday, was easily beating advance ticket sales of previous M:I films. The current estimate for Rogue Nation is in the low $40M range; however, if moviegoers are swayed by its fantastic reviews, that number is bound to go higher. At a Hollywood press screening on the Paramount lot Monday night, the tweeds were having an excellent time — Deadline Pete Hammond shouted that “It’s the best film of the summer.” On Rotten Tomatoes, Rogue Nation has the second-highest score of the franchise at 90% behind 2011’s Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol which has 93%.