Weekend Box Office (July 31- August 2, 2015)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Now in his fourth decade of anchoring number one action hits, Tom Cruise hit the top spot with the launch of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, the fifth film in the lucrative spy franchise, with an estimated $56M. Averaging a terrific $14,156 from 3,956 locations, the PG-13 pic saw a high 15% of the weekend business come from IMAX screens. Rogue Nation follows Ghost Protocol which reinvigorated the series in 2011 after 2006's MI3 was an underperformer.

Budgeted at $150M - a respectable level for a five-quel anchored by a major star - the pic drew rave reviews from film critics and also satisfied the popcorn crowd as the CinemaScore was a solid A-. Saturday sales saw only a scant dip from Friday's opening day figure which also included Thursday night pre-shows so word-of-mouth is encouraging. Studio data showed that the audience was 62% male and 81% over 25 - not surprising for an action sequel led by a superstar from the 1980s.

International markets rocked with Rogue Nation debuting to an estimated $65M led by Korea's $17.1M which was the second largest opening weekend of this year for a foreign film there behind only the Avengers sequel. With a $121M global launch, this new chapter will try to reach the heights of Ghost Protocol which ended with nearly $700M worldwide.

Warner Bros. stumbled with its new R-rated comedy Vacation which bowed to an estimated $14.9M from 3,411 theaters for a mild $4,354 average. A continuation of the Chevy Chase comedy franchise with the son as the central character earned weak reviews and did not impress paying audiences much either as it got a B CinemaScore grade. Unlike with the studio's very successful R-rated road trip summer hit We're the Millers, good word-of-mouth did not appear for Vacation from the mid-week launch so the weekend period failed to enjoy a boost. The five-day gross was $21.2M. As predicted a couple of months ago, this summer's hit comedies have been coming from the female-led movies, not the male-led ones.

Two-time leader Ant-Man dropped to third place and grossed an estimated $12.6M, off 49%. That decline is not bad considering a big action sequel entered the marketplace. Disney's total is $132.1M domestically and $291.6M worldwide. Global smash Minions took fourth with an estimated $12.2M, down 47%, and $287.3M to date for Universal. Monster numbers keep coming in overseas with the worldwide tally now at a staggering $854.6M with China and Italy still to come. Reaching $1.1 billion is very likely.

Adam Sandler's latest summer comedy Pixels stumbled 57% in its second weekend to an estimated $10.4M giving Sony only $45.6M to date. The $88M effects-driven pic looks to reach about $70M from North America and will need much cash from overseas markets to become a worthwhile investment. Trainwreck has been the comedy holding up well with audiences and dropped just 44% to an estimated $9.7M for $79.7M to date for Universal on its way to about $110M.

The well-liked boxing pic Southpaw took a hit in its second weekend falling 55% to an estimated $7.5M thanks in part to the arrival of a major adult-male-skewing offering in MI5. With $31.6M to date, The Weinstein Co. may end with about $50M. Fellow sophomore Paper Towns had no new competition for its young female crowd, but still took a nosedive tumbling 64% to an estimated $4.6M. The Fox release has banked $23.8M on its way to around $33M and luckily was not an expensive entry.

Summer juggernauts attracting entire families rounded out the top ten. Pixar's Inside Out slipped only 39% to an estimated $4.5M upping its cume to $329.6M. Universal's Jurassic World collected an estimated $3.8M, off 47%, and has amassed $631.5M. Only one film in history has ever grossed more in its initial run - Avatar. Titanic's lifetime take is higher than World's, but that includes the 3D re-release from 2012. Impressive global tallies now stand at $602.3M for Inside Out and $1.56 billion for Jurassic World which opens in its final market of Japan later this week.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $136.2M which was down 19% from last year when Guardians of the Galaxy opened at number one with an August record $94.3M; but up 16% from 2013 when 2 Guns opened in the top spot with $27.1M.

Compared to projections, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation opened on target with my $56M forecast while Vacation came in very close to my $16M prediction.

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Watch the trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.

Be sure to check back on Monday for final studio figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Fantastic Four, Ricki and the Flash, Shaun the Sheep, and The Gift all open.

# Title Jul 31 - Aug 2 Jul 24 - 26 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Mission: Impossible - Rouge Nation $ 55,520,089 3,956 1 $ 14,034 $ 55,520,089 Paramount
2 Vacation 14,681,108 3,411 1 4,304 21,003,442 Warner Bros.
3 Ant-Man 12,802,644 24,909,332 -48.6 3,322 3 3,854 132,331,563 Disney
4 Minions 12,387,375 22,933,960 -46.0 3,575 4 3,465 287,578,650 Universal
5 Pixels 10,503,023 24,011,616 -56.3 3,723 2 2,821 45,714,520 Sony
6 Trainwreck 9,605,585 17,281,950 -44.4 2,960 3 3,245 79,614,985 Universal
7 Southpaw 7,617,683 16,701,294 -54.4 2,772 2 2,748 31,675,168 Weinstein Co.
8 Paper Towns 4,637,894 12,650,140 -63.3 3,031 2 1,530 23,854,333 Fox
9 Inside Out 4,511,004 7,414,528 -39.2 1,904 7 2,369 329,587,896 Disney
10 Jurassic World 3,901,400 7,181,175 -45.7 1,912 8 2,040 631,601,030 Universal
Top 5 $ 105,894,239 $ 105,838,152 0.1
Top 10 136,167,805 138,370,240 -1.6
Top 10 vs. 2014 136,167,805 167,782,433 -18.8
Top 10 vs. 2013 136,167,805 117,938,083 15.5
Below the Top 10:
Mr. Holmes 2,354,393 2,868,335 -17.9 898 3 2,622 10,325,772 Roadside/Miramax
Terminator Genisys 943,192 2,417,910 -61.0 736 5 1,282 87,693,413 Paramount
Bajrangi Bhaijaan 697,456 1,631,745 -57.3 257 3 2,714 6,961,850 Eros
Magic Mike XXL 645,617 1,877,169 -65.6 565 5 1,143 64,761,407 Warner Bros.
Irrational Man 496,966 255,243 94.7 135 3 3,681 1,134,297 Sony Classics
Ted 2 494,900 970,920 -49.0 505 6 980 80,538,470 Universal

Last Updated: August 2, 2015 at 7:15PM ET

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