Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is officially Tom Cruise's biggest global hit ever. Why the film's $200 million+ domestic total puts it in rare company...

As of yesterday, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol has earned $594 million worldwide, meaning that it has surpassed the $591 million earned in 2005 by War of the Worlds to become the biggest worldwide grosser in Tom Cruise's career.  Domestically, the film sits at $203 million, or behind the $215 million grossing Mission: Impossible II and the $234 million-grossing War of the Worlds.  On the domestic front, it's still ninth in terms of inflation, but the Tom Cruise films of the 1980s and 1990s didn't have to deal with losing 1,600 screens in two weeks despite strong legs.  It is beyond unfortunate that even a film as 'leggy' as Mission: Impossible IV has to contend with arbitrarily losing screens due to the 2-5 new releases that drop each and every weekend.  The jam-packed schedule of mainstream movie releases, as well as the absence of a viable second-run market, has kneecapped any number of films over the last 5-10 years and resulted in screen-bleed and depressed total grosses even if the films didn't exhibit the usual 'quick-kill blockbuster' behavior.

But, if I may be a bit more positive, we have a film that has grossed $200 million in the US from an $12.7 million opening weekend.  There are just a handful of movies that have posted lower wide or even semi-wide opening weekends which still ended up with $200 million on their initial release in record history, and it's pretty prestigious company.  They are Jaws ($7 million semi-wide release opening weekend), The Empire Strikes Back ($10.8 million wide release opening), Raiders of the Lost Ark ($8.3 million), Back to the Future ($11.1 million), Ghost ($12.1 million), and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (wide release opening - $3 million).   Heck, if you don't want to count the IMAX sneak preview as the film's opening, you still have a mere $29 million Fri-Sun debut, the kind of figure that, even in the holiday season, often isn't enough to get a film to $150 million, let alone $200 million.  This is an uncommon feat in a front-loaded era, and a real win for all parties, and a divisive strike for the idea that opening weekends don't need to be the be all/end all of domestic box office.

Scott Mendelson  


David Atteberry said...

I ended up seeing MI:4 twice over the holidays, once at the IMAX. I was just thinking that if going to the movies wasn't so expensive, I would probably go see it again. As a avid movie watcher, I'm grateful for all of the movies to watch but I wish that they could stick around the theater longer. I live in AZ, and the fine local Harkin's chain here as a great "Cine Capri" screen auditorium. It has a massive, beautiful screen with hundreds of speakers. It has become the preferred way of seeing a film foe my wife and I. But if we don't see a movie on the opening weekend, it is usually out of that auditorium and on a smaller screen by the second week. And I won't pay to see a movie on the big screen when it isn't on a "big" screen.

Clark Kent said...

Beautiful. M:I-IV is the most loved of all "Missions" here in Spain (despite many people hating Tom Cruise... or that´s what they say). So... door open for M:I-V in a couple of years?

Keep up the good work, Scott, amazing writing.

Kentoncampbelljr said...

The moment when the bird landed in him I felt like I was watching a live Pixar movie. Awesome


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