After finishing one weekend at the box office, it’s starting all over again tomorrow night when Warner Bros. previews New Line’s reboot of Vacation at 7 PM. By Friday, Paramount-Skydance’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation will be in the mix with a target at No. 1.
Originally scheduled to bow at Christmas, where its previous installment Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol had a fantastic run during the 2011 holiday season becoming the second-highest-grossing title in the franchise at $209M, MI5 moved to July to avoid being steamrolled by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. MI5 also had the extra advantage of being finished earlier. The film, directed by Christopher McQuarrie, bows in approximately 3,800 venues and is looking at an opening weekend in the low $40Ms. The estimated budget for MI5 is $150M. It will also be in 367 Imax theaters in the U.S./Canada and another 133 overseas.
Vacation is looking to bank at least $20M from Friday-to-Sunday, and in the low-$30M range over Wednesday through Sunday at an estimated 3,360 theaters (that count is apt to rise). Some think it can even go much higher, with $25M over FSS, and possibly even $40M. The R-rated comedy stars Ed Helms as a grown-up Rusty Griswold, son of the famed doofus Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), who wants to relive his childhood experiences and sets the family vacation trip deck to Wally World. Chase and Beverly D’Angelo from the original make cameos. Warner Bros. showed footage at CinemaCon, earning outrageous laughs from both exhibitors and the press. They’ve been screening the film extensively throughout the month to get the good word out, including a fan preview during San Diego’s Comic-Con. Why bow on July 29? That’s when the original National Lampoon’s Vacation bowed. That film was a huge success in its day making $61.4M and spawning three sequels. In today’s dollars, based on the film’s original estimated admissions of 19.5M, that’s about $167.9M.
MI5‘s projected weekend is looking to be on the lower end for an MI chapter, but that’s a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison. The first two MIs were five-day openers prior to Memorial Day holidays (crossing respectively $74.6M and $91.8M) while Mission: Impossible III posted a three-day release with $47.7M. Ghost Protocol had a platform release bowing in 425 theaters with a $12.8M weekend before expanding to 3,448 screens during Christmas weekend and making $44M over four days. Tracking, which is currently high with males under and over 25, indicates a softer opening in the $30M range; however, insiders believe MI5 will beat that. After Edge Of Tomorrow ($28.8M underperforming bow, $100.2M cume) and Oblivion (great bow of $37.1M, legless cume of $89.1M) fell flat, Tom Cruise needs MI5 to work.
The other holdovers should rank as follows per industry estimates: Universal/Illumination Entertainment’s Minions should stay strong with an estimated $13.8M in its fourth frame. Disney Marvel’s Ant-Man is looking at $12.5M. Sony’s Adam Sandler film Pixels should fall 54%-58% with a $10M-$11M cume after its estimated $24M weekend. Uni’s Trainwreck and Weinstein Co.’s Southpaw are looking at about $10M apiece.