Tom Cruise and Vanessa Kirby in 'Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning - Part One' from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.
While the weekend was all about the launch of Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning – Part One for most cinemas, Paramount is not publicly releasing figures for the film until after its “official” premiere date on Thursday.
The seventh instalment of the franchise opened early around the country on Saturday off the back of Down Under publicity tour with Tom Cruise in tow, with most exhibitors stating they saw strong numbers.
“Mission Impossible made a speedy impression – coupled with Indiana Jones it was an assuring weekend,” Wallis Cinemas programming manager David Simpson tells IF.
While it was the top title “by a good margin” for Majestic Cinemas, whose circuit operates across regional NSW and Queensland, CEO Kieren Dell has heard from other regional exhibitors it was not a bit soft for them: “Perhaps people didn’t know the release date was brought forward.” He predicts it will pick up from Thursday, when the film also launches Stateside.
So without any reported figures for Dead Reckoning, Numero data puts the top 20 titles at $14.1 million, down 7 per cent on the previous.
Disney’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny remained the no. 1 title, holding well through its second frame with a 36 per cent drop to $3.1 million, bringing it to $11.2 million.
The best new opener was Sony’s Insidious: The Red Door, which snapped up $1.5 million ($1.6 million with previews), to come in at fifth position.
The film marks the fifth in the the horror franchise created by Australians James Wan and Leigh Whannell. Lead actor Patrick Wilson directs this time around, with the original cast returning, including Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Whannell and Lin Shaye.
In North America Insidious 5 landed as a surprise no. 1 ahead of Dial of Destiny, opening at $US32.6 million – the best debut result for a horror film post-pandemic. Worldwide, figures tally $US64 million.
Australia – a less receptive market for horror films – is behind the US pro-rata, but the debut is a solid result in line with the recent Halloween Ends, and ahead of Evil Dead Rise.
By screen average, the weekend’s best performing title – by far – was Chinese film Lost in the Stars, directed by Rui Cui and Xiang Liu. Distributed by CMC, it grossed $653,053 from just 37 screens, for an average of $17,650, landing at eighth position.
Just behind it was sex comedy Joy Ride, directed by Crazy Rich Asians co-writer Adele Lim, which premiered to just $377,402 from 244 screens for Roadshow. Its opening in the US was similarly tepid, where it generated $US5.9 million, below expectations.
Dell describes the film as “a very funny, out-there film” that unfortunately was “a bust”, while Simpson quipped: “Joy Ride was more like a bleak Sunday drive,”
Landing just outside the top 10 was Australian film The New Boy, from director Warwick Thornton, which generated $167,957 from just 45 screens. When previews are added in – Thornton and star Cate Blanchett did numerous sold out Q&A screenings around the country – it tallies $337,128 so far. Cinema Nova was the top ranked venue, following its nation-best box office for both Samson and Delilah and Sweet Country.
If previews are anything to go by, Sharmill will have success ahead with the Encore – NT Live: Fleabag 2023, which has already taken $93,184 so far, $77,534 of which was earned last weekend.
“Fleabag encores got off to a strong start with two theatres well attended ahead of a number of sold out shows commencing this Thursday. Similarly, National Theatre’s Good starring David Tennant were also well attended,” says Cinema Nova CEO Kristian Connelly.
Of the holdovers, Disney/Pixar’s Elemental got yet another school holiday boost, up 32 per cent to $2.7 million, just behind Indiana Jones. That brings the animation’s total gross to $11.9 million after four weekends.
Fellow animation Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse took third position in its sixth weekend, with $1.6 million taking the Sony title to $30.8 million.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts‘ third weekend saw it take home $1.5 million, moving the Paramount title to $10.4 million. Globally, the film has now crossed the $US400 million mark.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid, now seven weekends in, is holding well through school holidays, taking $813,295 to advance to $22.4 million.
Jennifer Lawrence-starrer No Hard Feelings rang up $805,932 in its third frame, moving to $5.4 million.
Rounding out the top 10 was Warner Bros. disappointment The Flash, with $283,181 taking it to $8.8 million after four weekends; a terrible result for a blockbuster of this scale.
Local doco John Farnham: Finding the Voice remains in the top 20 as it winds up its theatrical run, pocketing an additional $36,232 to move to $4.4 million. Seven announced today it will air the doco July 24.
Of the other Australian titles in release, Roadshow’s Sweet As has reached $455,219 after six weekends, having brought in an extra $11,900.
Looking ahead, exhibitors are enthused about Barbie – which is showing promising pre-sales – and Oppenheimer.
“Barbie is shooting the lights out with opening night tickets, so we have high hopes for it being a huge hit, and Oppenheimer will appeal to a diametrically opposed audience, and so should make for a busy second half of July,” Dell says.