‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout’ dominates the box office as ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’ disappoints

"Mission: Impossible — Fallout" posted the best-ever debut for the series, with $61.5 million in its opening weekend, proving both the enduring appeal of the 20-year-old franchise and that Tom Cruise can still do his own stunts.
(Paramount Pictures )

The summer of sequels continues as the sixth installment of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise handily dominated the box office this weekend.

Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” debuted in first place with a series-best $61.5 million in the U.S. and Canada, according to figures from measurement firm ComScore.

“Summer CGI has met its match with an actor and a filmmaker who put it all on the line to create a great experience for moviegoers,” said Kyle Davies, the studio’s president of distribution. “All the stunts are real, the movie is just pure excitement.”

The “Fallout” result tops the $57.8-million opening of 2000’s “Mission: Impossible II,” which previously held the franchise record. The opening matched analysts’ predictions of $50 million to $65 million and keeps the series on a short list of movie franchises that have managed to stay relevant after 20 years of new entries.


The previous installment, “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” opened with $55 million in 2015 before grossing $682 million globally, with $195 million in ticket sales from the U.S. and Canada alone.

The $178-million “Fallout” stars Tom Cruise, 56, as super spy Ethan Hunt and earned rave reviews with audiences and critics. It’s the first “Mission” to score an A rating on CinemaScore and also boasts an impressive 97% “fresh” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

“Tom has created an iconic character and every movie you get a thrill ride with amazing stunts that audiences know are the real deal,” Davies said. “The movies have amazing settings that take place all over the world. It’s just a consistently great experience.”

The “Mission: Impossible” franchise has been a consistent winner for Cruise and Paramount since 1996, and “Fallout” marks a much-needed success for both the star and studio. Once one of Hollywood’s most bankable leading men, Cruise has had fewer hits in recent years and suffered back-to-back disappointments last year with the Universal releases “The Mummy” and “American Made.” The sixth “Mission: Impossible” now stands as the second biggest opening weekend of his career, behind 2005’s “War of the Worlds.”

After scoring a sleeper smash with “A Quiet Place” earlier this year, Paramount has been in rebuilding mode following a series of flops including “Baywatch,” “Downsizing” and this summer’s “Action Point.” “Fallout” delivered the studio’s biggest opening weekend since 2014’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

Universal’s “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” maintained its second-place spot, getting the edge on last weekend’s top opener “The Equalizer 2.”

“Mamma Mia!” now in its second weekend, earned $15 million in ticket sales, a bigger than expected 57% drop, and a cumulative of $70.4 million.

Sony’s “The Equalizer 2,” also in its second weekend, added $14 million in ticket sales, a steep 61% decline, for a cumulative $64.2 million.

The studio’s “Hotel Transylvania 3,” now in its third weekend, added $12.3 million in North American receipts for a cumulative $119.2 million.

Rounding out the top five, Warner Bros.’ “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” opened with $10.5 million, below analysts’ expectations of $15 million. The animated film did notch a strong 90% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earned a B+ from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

Based on the “Teen Titans Go!” Cartoon Network show that launched in 2013, the PG-rated film puts an irreverent and meta spin on superhero tropes. In their first big-screen outing, the Titans — young DC heroes such as Robin, Cyborg, Raven and Starfire — pine after the Hollywood recognition enjoyed by older (and more profitable) DC heroes like Superman and Batman. The show’s fifth season premiered on Cartoon Network in June.

In limited release, Lionsgate’s “Blindspotting” added 532 theaters and $1.3 million in earnings for a cumulative $1.8 million. The film stars Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs as friends — one white and one black — and focuses on how race informs the way each deals with the growing gentrification of Oakland.

A24’s “Eighth Grade” continued a charmed run adding $1.3 million in ticket sales in its third weekend while playing in just 158 locations, for a per-theater average of $8,339 and a cumulative $3 million. The critically acclaimed film will go into wide release next weekend.

Also next week, Fox opens the sci-fi thriller “The Darkest Minds,” Quality Flix debuts the pro-Donald Trump political documentary “Death of a Nation,” Disney premieres the Winnie the Pooh fantasy “Christopher Robin,” and Lionsgate unveils the female-driven action comedy “The Spy Who Dumped Me.”

follow me on twitter @sonaiyak


12 p.m.: This post was updated with quotes from studio executives and additional analysis.

This post was originally published at 9:20 a.m.