Monday, May 08, 2006

Cruise's Mission Proves Less Possible


The third installment in the Tom Cruise action-espionage franchise, Mission: Impossible III, failed to meet expectations as it opened the summer movie season with $48 million in 4,054 theatres, the fourth widest release ever. After earning an estimated $17 million on Friday, it looked like "M:i:III" could at least make $50 million this weekend, but that wasn't the case. It opened significantly lower than the previous movie's $57.8 million opening over Memorial Day in 2000, but higher than the original movie's opening four years prior. Its international opening in 9,500 theatres adds another $70 million onto its opening weekend.

Dropping to second place, the Sony road comedy RV, starring Robin Williams, held up well in its second weekend with $11.1 million, a miniscule 32% drop which brought its total to $31 million.

The independently produced and distributed horror film An American Haunting, starring Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland, fared decently against the higher-profile blockbuster, grossing $6.4 million in 1,668 theatres, for third place.

The rest of the returning movies took significant drops with the Touchstone Pictures gymnastic comedy Stick It surpassing Paul Greengrass' 9/11 drama United 93 in their second weekends. The former earned $5.5 million, bringing its total to $17 million, while the latter brought in $5.2 million for a total of $20 million.

Moving up a notch to sixth place, the Fox animated comedy Ice Age: The Meltdown continues to do decent business, adding another $4 million to bring its box office total to $183.2 million. It has already surpassed the box office gross of the previous movie, which capped out at $176 million in 2002.

The video game adaptation Silent Hill and the horror movie spoof Scary Movie 4 both took hefty drops from last week, each earning less than $4 million. By comparison, "Hill" has grossed $40 million to Scary Movie"'s $83.7 million.

Opening in over 3,000 theatres, New Line and Walden Media's family drama Hoot, barely made it into the Top 10 with its $3.4 million opening weekend, giving it one of the worst per-theatre averages for a wide release this year. It tied for 9th place with Akeelah and the Bee, a joint venture between Lionsgate and Starbucks, which dropped 43% from its opening weekend.

The Fox thriller The Sentinel took the biggest hit due to the release of "M:i:III," dropping 61% and falling out of the Top 10, with a weekend take of roughly $3 million. It has earned $30.8 million to date.

Meanwhile, in limited release, the latest movie from Ghost World's Terry Zwigoff and Daniel Clowes, Art School Confidential grossed $142 thousand in 12 theatres in select cities, an average of $11.8 thousand per theatre. According to plans, distributor Sony Classics intends on expanding the film fairly wide next weekend.