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‘Mission: Impossible,’ ‘Vacation’ to kick off slower summer month at box office

In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson appear in a scene from "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation."

In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson appear in a scene from “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.”

(David James / AP)

The box office is shaping up for a slow start in August, with the latest “Mission Impossible” expected to open with modest ticket sales this weekend.

“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” will make about $40 million when it plays in about 3,800 locations beginning Friday, according to people familiar with pre-release audience surveys. The action film, from Paramount and Skydance Productions, cost $150 million to make.

Though the year-to-date 2015 box office is up almost 9%, some analysts believe the August slate is not strong enough to make summer grosses surge. Other movies coming out this month include Twentieth Century Fox’s superhero film “Fantastic Four,” Meryl Streep comedy-drama “Ricki and the Flash,” STX Entertainment’s thriller “The Gift” and Lionsgate’s “Shaun the Sheep Movie.”

“August looks very underwhelming,” said Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at the tracking firm Exhibitor Relations. “The excitement already feels like it’s faded away from the summer. Nothing says $100-million movie on it.”

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So far this summer, there’s only been three films to open with more than $100 million – which is considered by the industry to be the bar set for blockbusters. The films that have made the cut since May include “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Jurassic World” and “Minions.”

None of the “Mission Impossible” movies have debuted with over $100 million domestically, with most of them averaging about half that. However, the franchise has had much success globally. The four prevous installments have combined to gross more than $2 billion at the worldwide box office.

In addition to the U.S. and Canada, “Rogue Nation” will open in 40 other countries this weekend, including the U.K., Australia, Mexico and South Korea. It is scheduled to open in China on Sept. 8.

Meanwhile, comedy “Vacation,” which rolls out in theaters beginning on Tuesday night, is expected to open with a solid $25 million to $34 million over the five-day period.

The film, which is being released by Warner Bros.’ New Line Cinema label, is written and directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis, co-writers of the popular summer 2011 comedy “Horrible Bosses.”

It follows the next generation of the Griswold family, played by Ed Helms (from “The Hangover” films), Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann and others

For more news on the entertainment industry, follow me @saba_h


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