After ruling the Hollywood anthill for two weeks, ‘Ant-Man’ finally steps down with the debuts of ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ which blew audiences away to the tune of $56 million and ‘Vacation’ the revival of the classic comedy series, which at $14.8 fell far short of both ‘MI5’ and expectations.

More after the official numbers:

  1. Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation (Paramount) — $56,000,000
  2. Vacation (Warner Brothers) — $14,850,000
  3. Ant-Man (Disney) — $12,619,000
  4. Minions (Universal) — $12,155,000
  5. Pixels (Sony) — $10,400,000

‘Mission: Impossible’ is the fifth film in the 19 year-old action franchise and the second best opening, next to ‘Mission: Impossible 2’ which opened at $57.8 million in 2000.  It also marks Tom Cruise’s first certified smash in a few years, with some of his more recent films like ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ falling short in the U.S.  Luckily, the star is still a major draw globally, so his films still tend to be hits when the international market is added in.

But while most franchises lose steam by the fifth installment, this film seems to have reinvigorated it, garnering nearly universal rave reviews, with a whopping 93% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Earning terrible reviews, but positive audience reaction is the #2 movie, ‘Vacation.’ Unfortunately, the film generated slightly less than $15 million, when predictions were that the movie would do between $27-30  million.

Early blame is being placed on marketing.  Not enough people realized that this was a continuation of the older movies– Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo reprised their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold, but were left out of the ads– instead thinking it was a remake of one of the 80s funniest comedies, which many considered blasphemous.

But as stated, audiences have actually reacted positively, so word of mouth may carry this movie as the summer winds down.

‘Ant-Man’ isn’t the unexpected phenomenon that ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ was last year around this time, but it’s done quite respectably, taking in another $12 million bringing its total above $132 million.  The title character’s guest appearance in next year’s ‘Captain America: Civil War’ could help boost the expected sequel, the same way ‘Avengers’ did for ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and ‘Thor: The Dark World’ which both greatly exceeded their first films.

Rounding out the top five are the merchandising bonanza that is ‘Minions’ and the Adam Sandler dud ‘Pixels’ which has bombed so badly that some are speculating whether Sandler’s career will be able to rebound from it.

Next week sees the release of only one major movie, the controversial ‘Fantastic Four’ and the jury is definitely out on that one.  It hasn’t been screened for critics, which is usually a bad omen.  It also won’t get the boost of 3D ticket sales, as it is being released only in 2D.  The movie has been riddled with negative buzz almost from the start, but comic book fans may turn out just out of curiosity.  However ‘MI5”s huge opening and great reviews could spell… um, doom for the reboot.

Source: Rentrak