Mission: Impossible Derails Vacation
Franchise scores its second-biggest opening
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 2, 2015 12:36 PM CDT
Simon Pegg portrays Benji in a scene from "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation."   (David James/Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions via AP)
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(Newser) – The stakes may be high for Ethan Hunt and his team in Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation, but it was hardly impossible for the Tom Cruise pic to conquer the box office. The fifth installment in the nearly 20-year-old film series has earned $56 million, according to studio estimates today. Opening weekend audiences were 62% male and 81% over the age of 25. It's the second-highest opening for a Mission film since Mission Impossible II took in $57.8 million over Memorial Day weekend in 2000. Rentrak's Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian said Cruise is to credit for making these films one of the longest-running viable franchises on the market.

"He created a new Tom Cruise in the minds of audiences. He came off as very approachable, funny, he did the lip synching with Jimmy Fallon. This is the playbook on how a star—who is also a producer on the movie—gets the word out about his movie," he said. "He's a marketing machine." Meanwhile, Warner Bros.' Vacation went a bit off track. The $30 million film earned $14.9 million over the weekend and $21.2 million since opening Wednesday. Holdovers Ant-Man ($12.6 million), Minions ($12.2 million), and Pixels ($10.4 million) rounded out the top five.