|Tom Cruise, whose latest "Mission Impossible" film is topping North American box offices, is seen here during the movie’s recent premiere in Washington. — Photo Getty Images|
LOS ANGELES — Improbable? Maybe, but Mission Impossible -- Fallout, the sixth and latest stunt-filled edition of the Tom Cruise action franchise has topped the weekend box office in North America, outperforming the five earlier Impossibles.
The Paramount/Skydance production took in an estimated US$61.5 million for the three-day weekend, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations, more than quadrupling the $15 million earned by second-place Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
Impossible has 56-year-old Cruise, who famously still does his own cliff-hanging, car-rolling stunts, ordered to track down some missing plutonium and find a terror-minded villain. Critics seem to like the film despite its evident weaknesses: Though "often ridiculous", the Washington Post wrote, the film "works amazingly well".
Universal’s Mamma Mia clung to the second spot for a second straight weekend, though its take was nearly 60 per cent below its opening. With a star-studded cast including Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan, the film uses plentiful flashbacks to fill in the story of Streep’s carefree character on the only Greek island with a built-in ABBA soundtrack.
In third was Sony’s The Equalizer 2, with Denzel Washington again playing a former black-ops agent -- and now low-profile Lyft driver -- drawn into action to avenge a friend’s death. It took in $14 million.
Fourth spot went to another Sony film, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, at $12.3 million. The animated comedy, whose voice cast includes Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez, follows Count Dracula and his family as they get away from their hotel for their own vacation.
In fifth was a new release, Warner Bros.’ family-friendly Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, at $10.5 million, which Variety called slightly disappointing given the film’s 90 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The first feature film based on a popular animated series, Titans has a voice cast including Kristen Bell, Will Arnett and Greg Cipes.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
Ant-Man and the Wasp ($8.4 million)
Incredibles 2 ($7.2 million)
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($6.8 million)
Skyscraper ($5.4 million)
The First Purge ($2.2 million). — AFP