“Mission Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” Box Office Falls Short of Projections, while “Sound of Freedom” Surprises with Growing Ticket Sales

Xavier Roger
Image Credit - Paramount
Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible - DeadPart One
Image Credit – Paramount


Paramount’s action-packed film “Mission Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” has slightly underperformed at the domestic box office, grossing an estimated $78 million over its five-day opening. This falls behind earlier projections, which anticipated a $90 million debut for the Tom Cruise-led sequel.

Industry insiders had speculated that “Dead Reckoning” might benefit from the success of “Top Gun: Maverick,” as the legacy sequel generated tremendous buzz and became one of the highest-grossing domestic releases of all time. However, it seems that “Mission: Impossible” isn’t surpassing the typical numbers associated with the franchise.

In comparison, the previous installment, “Fallout,” set a franchise record with a $61 million three-day opening. “Dead Reckoning” had the advantage of a Wednesday release, along with previews on Tuesday evening, likely scheduled to leverage premium ticket prices for Imax screenings. However, Universal’s “Oppenheimer,” directed by Christopher Nolan, is set to take over Imax auditoriums next weekend.

It’s important to note that while Tom Cruise is often seen as a champion for movie theaters, his films don’t necessarily achieve the biggest openings. Instead, they tend to attract older audiences who may not rush to see a new release in its early days. The exception to this trend is “Top Gun: Maverick,” which had an exceptional multiplier, turning its $126 million three-day debut into a final gross of $718 million. “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and “Rogue Nation” also experienced significant growth after their opening weekends.

For the franchise to regain momentum, “Dead Reckoning” will need to exhibit similar staying power. This seventh installment is the most expensive yet, with a production budget of $290 million. The high cost can be attributed not only to its adrenaline-fueled action sequences but also to COVID-related production delays and safety measures. It’s worth noting that “Fallout” had a budget over $100 million lower than that of “Dead Reckoning.”

Strong word-of-mouth is expected to play a significant role in the film’s performance. The “Mission” series has gained a reputation among critics for its daring stunts, intricate set pieces, and clever humor. Variety’s chief film critic, Peter Debruge, praised “Dead Reckoning,” describing it as a film that “delivers a formidable concept and several hall-of-fame set pieces while tying the storylines back into the core mythology of the franchise.” This sentiment is echoed by the film’s 92% approval rating from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Audience reception has been equally positive, evident in the film’s “A” CinemaScore grade.

The international market will also be crucial for the success of “Mission Impossible.” Foreign audiences have shown great interest in the franchise, with “Fallout” and “Rogue Nation” earning over 70% of their ticket sales overseas. In its first three days of release, “Dead Reckoning” has already amassed $82.1 million across 70 international territories.

In the midst of “Dead Reckoning’s” performance, another remarkable box office narrative is unfolding. “Sound of Freedom,” distributed by Angel Studios, continues to gain momentum through strong word-of-mouth. Major studios predict a $23 million weekend haul, marking a 17% increase from the previous week’s gross.

It is rare for wide releases to experience week-to-week growth in ticket sales, but “Sound of Freedom” is far from a typical release. Originally shelved by Disney during the 21st Century Fox acquisition, the Jim Caviezel-led thriller found a new home with Angel Studios. The Utah-based studio operates on a “Pay It Forward” system, encouraging viewers to donate money so that the company can purchase and distribute tickets to other potential audience members at no cost. However, the film’s success isn’t solely due to this unconventional approach. With an “A+” grade on CinemaScore and considerable buzz on social media, “Sound of Freedom” has become a phenomenon, particularly among conservative audiences.

The film, which has faced scrutiny from anti-trafficking experts, tells the story of real-life ex-fed Tim Ballard, who left the government to combat human trafficking independently. Ballard founded the non-profit organization Operation Underground Railroad, though recent reports suggest that he has since parted ways with the organization.

Sony’s horror sequel “Insidious: The Red Door” is projected to secure third place with an estimated $12.6 million weekend gross. Although this marks a 62% decline from its opening weekend, the film has already surpassed its $17 million production budget with a domestic total of $54 million.

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” is expecthttps://variety.com/2023/film/box-office/mission-impossible-7-projected-opening-weekend-tom-cruise-1235670840/ed to experience a 59% drop in its third weekend. With a domestic total of $136 million, the Harrison Ford-led film is on track to become one of the top 10 domestic releases of the year, despite its hefty $300 million production budget.

Disney’s Pixar romance “Elemental” is poised to round out the top five, with an estimated $2.6 million added to its domestic haul, which currently stands at $119 million. Despite a disappointing opening, the film has displayed remarkable staying power, drawing in family audiences. While it may not recoup its $200 million production budget in North America, the film’s performance has surpassed earlier predictions.

In limited release, Disney’s Searchlight Pictures banner has launched the ensemble comedy “Theater Camp.” With positive reviews from the Sundance Film Festival, the film aims to capitalize on its momentum. Opening in six theaters in Los Angeles and New York, it earned $109,000 on Friday.

Source – Variety


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