Box-Office Preview- ‘ Mission- Impossible Fallout’ Eyes $50M Plus U.S. Debut

Paramount’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout will easily winthis weekend’s box-office race. The big question is how close it comes tomatching the $55.5 million domestic launch of the last film in the actionfranchise, starring Tom Cruise as indefatigable spy Ethan Hunt.

Glowing reviews could prove a major boost for the sixth outing inthe film franchise. Presently, the $178 million pic boasts a 97 percent freshrating on Rotten Tomatoes, the best score for a Mission: Impossible film,as well as for any Cruise film (the actor’s next best is Risky Business with96 percent).

Heading into the weekend, Hollywood’s leadingtracking service, NRG, shows Mission:Impossible 6 debuting to $50 million. Other services show itopening in the $52 million to $57 million range.

Overseas, the late-summer event film makes a major pushtimed to its U.S. launch, opening in its first 36 foreign markets. A releasedate has yet to be announced for China, where Cruise is a huge star.

Similar to other Hollywood event films, Mission: Impossible hasincreasingly pulled in huge grosses offshore. The last entry, Mission: Impossible — RogueNation, opened to $55.5 million in late August 2015 on its way togrossing $195 million in North America and $487.7 million for a global total of$682.7 million.

The Mission:Impossible series has never attained the lofty heights ofother well-known franchises in terms of box-office grosses, but many of the movieshave been profitable for Paramount (and Cruise). Mission: Impossible — GhostProtocol, released in 2011, earned the most globally ($694.7million), not adjusted for inflation. That film also marked a comeback for Cruise.

In terms of openings, Mission: Impossible II holdsthe record ($57.8 million), not adjusted for inflation.

Fallout reunites Cruise with his Rogue Nation director,Christopher McQuarrie. Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris,Michelle Monaghan and Alec Baldwin all reprise their roles from previous M:Ipics, whilenewcomers include Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett and Vanessa Kirby.

The plot follows Hunt and his crew as they try tooutsmart a CIA agent (Cavill) who is trying to kill them after an assignmentgone wrong.

Mission: Impossible — Fallout, in keeping with its recent globe-trotting predecessors,was shot in five countries. Cruise, 56, once again performed a number ofhigh-risk stunts, one of which resulted in the actor breaking his ankle in London. Production was suspended foreight weeks, with insurance covering much of the tens of millions in addedcosts.

The only other movie daring to opennationwide opposite Fallout isWarner Bros.’ family entry TeenTitans Go! To the Movies. Tracking suggests the movie will open inthe $13 million to $15 million range, if not slightly higher. It also boasts astellar score on Rotten Tomatoes: 95 percent.

Teen Titans is the first feature film adapted from the popularchildren’s animated series on Cartoon Network. The story follows the titularheroes — including Beast Boy (Greg Cipes), Robin (Scott Menville), Cyborg(Khary Payton), Raven (Tara Strong) and Starfire (Hynden Walch) — as they tryto convince a Hollywood director (Kristen Bell) to develop a movie based ontheir exploits. Complicating matters is the villain, Slade (Will Arnett).

New offerings at the specialty box officeinclude A24’s HotSummer Nights, starring Timothee Chalamet and Maika Monroe. Thecoming-of-age drama, which has been awaiting release since premiering at SXSWmore than a year ago, currently has a 42 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.