Arguably the last tentpole huzzah of the summer before New Line/Warner Bros.’ Conjuring series title The Nun takes us into the fall on Sept. 7 is Paramount/Skydance’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the sixth in the series, which is eyeing a franchise-best global start this weekend of $135M-plus.
Broken down that’s around $55M-$60M stateside and between $75M-80M overseas in 36 markets including South Korea, the UK, Russia, Spain, Latin America and some key emerging South East Asian territories. Should Fallout truly overindex around the globe — and note it has the best reviews of the franchise with a 97% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes — it then would be at $150M ($60M domestic, $90M overseas). Anything above the $131.5M opening for 2011’s Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol’s would rep a worldwide record start for the Tom Cruise franchise.
As for the rest of the weekend in U.S./Canada: Denzel Washington’s Equalizer 2 is expected to decline 55% for a second weekend of $16.2M. So far this week, Universal’s Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again has pulled ahead of the male action film in its running cume after it surprisingly notched No. 1 last weekend, $46.6M to $44.6M. The ABBA-themed sequel is expected to hold between -40% to -45% in weekend 2 for a $19M-$20M second-place take. Warner Bros. has a synergistic toon entering the marketplace, the thrifty $10M-priced Teen Titans Go! To the Movies for a $14M start. That pic, based on the WBTV/Cartoon Network series, has a 95% RT from only 21 film reviews.
In Cruise’s record book, War of the Worlds stands as the star’s biggest global opener with $203.1M, followed by last year’s The Mummy at $172.4M. In regards to the top domestic weekend openings for an M:I film, the John Woo-directed Part 2 18 years ago ranks on top, earning $57.8M across Friday to Sunday in a Memorial Day six-day launch. Rogue Nation three years ago holds the second-best debut with $55.5M. Thursday previews stateside start at 7 PM with a U.S./Canada weekend theater count starting Friday of 4,350. Notable overseas territories not going this corridor are France, Japan, Germany and China (the latter not yet dated but apt to get a prime spot once the summer blackout is over and with Alibaba Pictures firmly in the mix).
Rogue Nation opened in 40 markets back in July 2015 and grossed $64.5M at historic rates and finaled overseas at $466.4M while Ghost Protocol was $404.9M total aboard, both including China.
The previous Mission movies have increased their overseas vs domestic split, with Rogue Nation at a high of 71% from offshore turnstiles. These movies are built for international with far away locales a key feature of the plot.
France has figured in the Top 5 markets on all the previous Mission installments and will open August 1. Japan, the lead market on the first three M:Is and No. 2 behind China on the past two, also goes later. The Top 5 markets overall on Rogue Nation were China ($136M), Japan ($42M), Korea ($41.6M), the UK ($32M) and France ($21.4M).
The big kahunas this weekend will be Korea and the UK, which were the Nos. 3 and 4 hubs for Rogue Nation. Cruise is revered in Korea, which was the No. 3 market on Ghost Protocol and No. 2 on Edge of Tomorrow (it was even No. 2 on The Mummy).
In Fallout, Paris is used to astounding effect. Standing below the Eiffel Tower at the world premiere in early July, Cruise declared the movie a “love letter” to the City of Light. Director Christopher McQuarrie said he chose to make the film in Paris after the November 2015 terrorist attacks there, which reflected a city he didn’t recognize. Cruise agreed, to show the world it was safe.
Astute Parisians will recognize that a centerpiece chase scene is deftly cut — we’re not in Montmartre one second and on the Seine the next, for example. At the Paris world premiere (and global junket), Cruise and McQuarrie were joined by co-stars Henry Cavill, Michelle Monaghan, Rebecca Ferguson, Algela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby and Simon Pegg. The global premiere livestream provided feeds to over 90 international partner and exhibitor pages and were extended and customized in English, French and Spanish. In conjunction, all 12 of the Gaumont-Pathé Imax theaters in France screened the movie on July 12.
After that, the team took the action to London for a UK junket and premiere with Cruise, Pegg, Ferguson, Cavill, Kirby, McQuarrie and Frederick Schmidt in attendance. Sky supported the premiere and streamed an onstage Q&A with talent to Sky One with screenings in regional cinemas.
In Seoul, a day of press included the cast making a special appearance on variety show Running Man. Cruise was in town with Pegg, Cavill and McQuarrie and the premiere was supported through Lotte’s social channels and livestreamed through KakaoTalk, the country’s top messaging app with over 40M users. It was the largest Kakao has hosted.
In Tokyo, the premiere was livestreamed with Twitter, the first they have done locally. The livestream generated the highest volume of access ever for a film premiere. Cruise, Pegg, Cavill and McQuarrie were in town.