Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell in Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

‘Mission: Impossible’ sees positive signs at the box office, but its future still hangs in the balance

Paramount reports that “Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning – Part One” has a US/Canada gross of $23.8 million through Thursday. This so far qualifies it as a Well, but not a large number. However, the figures include a positive sign in the film’s crucial first weekend.

Thursday’s haul was $8.3 million. That was only slightly down from Wednesday with $8.5 million as part of the initial $15.5 million report, which also included previews earlier in the week. This suggests favorable reactions, which could fuel next weekend.

A non-holiday summer opening Wednesday like this has few precedents, making templates for planning the weekend more difficult. But the almost same daily intake from the entire opening day is encouraging.

Prior to this report, initial weekend projections ranged from $70 million to $90 million. Strong Thursday should lift it above the low end, but the reality is harder to predict, and not just due to a lack of past similar cases.

Nearly $24 million for the shoot before Friday would be considered steep for most films. “Mission: Impossible,” however, is burdened by both its expense ($290 million production budget) and expectations (the need for a massive blockbuster after a poor summer, the hope it could be the season’s biggest) .

This elevates the demand for immediate reaction to cash receipts. Aside from the lack of certainty thus far, those reactions are still premature. Two main reasons stand out: First, the precedent of the previous “Mission: Impossible” (“Fallout” in 2018) is that this one could have a very strong run beyond its opening. “Fallout” opened to $61 million, then finished with nearly four times the national total ($224 million). Second, that film, similar to other big-star, big-budget franchise action films, did nearly 75 percent of its business overseas.

With a Cinemascore A (similar to “Fallout”) and the first signs of a strong grip, the possibility of strong legs remains. Unlike last time out, however, the competition ahead (including both “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie” next week) is intense.

There is no information on foreign results yet, so it remains pending. This leaves us with less information, but again what we have is encouraging if not yet outstanding. That determination is yet to come.

“Sound of Freedom”Courtesy of the Everett Collection

While “Mission: Impossible” will be an easy No. 1 for the weekend, the news could also be made by child trafficking sleeper “Sound of Freedom” (Angel). The film is making over $4 million a day and could be heading to a second weekend of over $25 million. Don’t look now, but this very independent, right-wing rooted film could end up with over $100 million.

That would rank it among the most unlikely hits ever. Albeit with a completely different audience ideologically, it is reminiscent of the 2004 hit “Fahrenheit 9/11,” Michael Moore’s documentary which grossed (adjusted to current prices) over $200 million. His side did not win the election that year.