In its second weekend, ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”s mission wasn’t so impossible.  The lauded Tom Cruise action flick held its #1 ranking against the opening of one of the least anticipated summer super hero films in memory, the embattled ‘Fantastic Four‘ reboot.  Guess those fancy containment suits couldn’t withstand the toxic criticisms and poor word of mouth.  Opening higher than expected was the first film from fledgling studio STX, thriller ‘The Gift’ written and directed by actor Joel Edgerton who also starred in the film along with Jason Bateman in a rare dramatic role, and Rebecca Hall.

More after the numbers:

1. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Paramount) — $29.4 million
2. Fantastic Four (Fox) — $26.2 million
3. The Gift (STX)— $12 million
4. Vacation (Warner Brothers) — $9.2 million
5. Ant-Man (Disney) — $7.8 million

The race for first was pretty tight as ‘MI5’ dropped roughly 50% from its massive opening, but its stiffest competition was from ‘Fantastic Four’ a movie plagued by negative buzz throughout its filming and which has been battered by nearly universal bad reviews.

‘F4’ was expected to at least pull in $40M, but only managed $26.2M making it the second poorest opening for a super hero movie ever, topping only 2012’s ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance‘ which opened with $22M.  (It falls just behind Seth Rogan’s ‘The Green Hornet.’  The Green freakin’ Hornet!)  The 2005 Tim Story-directed ‘Fantastic Four,’ also for Fox, which was met mostly with apathy, still opened with $56M, while its even more lackluster sequel ‘Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer’ topped that with a $58M bow.  It’s quite possible that the new movie won’t even make as much in its total run as those movies did on their opening weekends!

To really put it in perspective, at this rate, the new ‘Fantastic Four’ most likely won’t even make as much as director Josh Trank’s first film, the low budget ‘Chronicle’, which accumulated a total of $64.5M.

Suspense thrilled ‘The Gift’ opened better than expected, with holdovers ‘Vacation’ and ‘Ant-Man‘ rounding out the top five.

Also of note this weekend, FUNimation’s ‘Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F’ played in limited release to sold-out audiences, earning $41M making it the first indie to make the list of top ten highest grossing anime and that was just in four days.  It still has to surpassed ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ which made $46M in its total run and that was backed by Disney, but it should do so easily.

Opening in three theaters (yes, three) was Jon Watts’ ‘Cop Car’ with Kevin Bacon.  This tiny indie is notable simply because Watts is set to direct the relaunched ‘Spider-Man‘ for Sony (in association with Marvel).  It may be worth searching out (even if you have to wait for the DVD) simply to sample the director’s style to see what we’re all in for with this new take on the wall-crawler.

‘MI5’ will face competition next week from another spy thriller based on a 60s TV show, ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ directed by Guy Ritchie and featuring a very attractive cast, headed by Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer.  The other movie to watch out for is ‘Straight Outta Compton’ the highly anticipated biopic of seminal rap group NWA directed by F. Gary Gray, who may or may not be in the running to helm Marvel’s ‘Black Panther.’  (He was up for ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ but passed to do this film.)

Source: Entertainment Weekly