Like Tom Cruise dangling from the underside of a helicopter, Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” is holding on quite well in its second weekend at the box office, earning $9.8 million on its second Friday as industry estimates place the film at No. 1 for the weekend with $34 million.
That total signify just a 44 percent drop from the action film’s $61 million opening, a better result than the $28 million and 48 percent drop earned in the second weekend by “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” three years ago.
But while Cruise and Paramount are having a good second round, this weekends new releases are struggling to meet box office expectations, a sign that it is going to be another sluggish August for movie theaters. Disney’s “Christopher Robin” leads the new releases in second place, opening below “Fallout” $9.4 million on Friday with estimates pegging a $27 million opening.
Prior to the weekend, independent trackers had projected an opening of $30-32 million for the live-action Winnie the Pooh film, while Disney projected a start in the high $20 million range. Of course, with the wild success Disney has enjoyed with “Star Wars,” Marvel, and Pixar, they don’t need this film to light the charts on fire. At the very least, it’s on pace to earn a bigger opening than the $21 million made by Disney’s last August release, “Pete’s Dragon,” in 2016. While critics have been fairly positive with a 67 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, audiences gave it a thumbs up with an A on CinemaScore.
In third is Lionsgate’s “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” which is also slow out of the gate with $5 million on Friday and an estimated $12 million opening. When compared to other adult comedies featuring lead star Kate McKinnon, it’s higher than the $8 million opening for last summer’s “Rough Night,” but lower than the $16.8 million for the 2016 holiday comedy “Office Christmas Party.”
And it’s a far cry from the opening for the last female-driven send-up of the spy genre, “Spy.” Released in 2015, that Melissa McCarthy film opened to $29 million and finished with a domestic run of $110 million. “The Spy Who Dumped Me” won’t get close to that, as word of mouth is looking weak with a 37 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and a B on CinemaScore.
In fourth is Universal’s “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” which is not holding as well as the first “Mamma Mia!” did a decade ago. While the first film didn’t have a weekend drop above 40 percent through its first two months in theaters, “Here We Go Again” has fallen 44 percent this weekend for an estimated third weekend total of $9 million. When the numbers of the first film are adjusted for inflation, the sequel’s domestic run is 16 percent behind that of its predecessor.
Sony’s “The Equalizer 2” and “Hotel Transylvania 3” are just behind “Mamma Mia!” with weekend totals of $8-9 million. Outside the top ten, Fox’s “The Darkest Minds” has bombed at the box office with estimates projecting a $5 million opening against a $34 million budget. The YA novel adaptation has a 19 percent RT score and a B on CinemaScore.
Finally, Dinesh D’Souza’s pro-Trump documentary “Death of a Nation” is looking at an opening weekend of $2.5 million from 1,032 theaters. By comparison, D’Souza’s 2012 debut “Obama’s America” opened to $6.5 million, while the 2016 “Hillary’s America” opened to $4 million.