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‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ Nabs Third Best Tom Cruise Opening

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Wade Eastwood's mission was to dangle megastar Tom Cruise from the outside of an aircraft in midflight -- dressed in a business suit.

Wade Eastwood’s mission was to dangle megastar Tom Cruise from the outside of an aircraft in midflight — dressed in a business suit.

NEW YORK — Mission accomplished… well, almost.

“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” opened to an estimated $56 million at the U.S. box office over the weekend. This total was the second-best “Mission: Impossible” opening ever, just missing out on the $57.8 million of 2000’s “Mission: Impossible II.”

The Paramount film starring Tom Cruise was good enough to nab the third-best U.S. opening of the star’s career, coming in behind “Mission: Impossible II” and 2005’s “War of the Worlds.”

The spy thriller was also a hit internationally. It made $65 million abroad to bring its global total to $121 million. A good start for a film that cost Paramount $150 million.

Wade Eastwood's mission was to dangle megastar Tom Cruise from the outside of an aircraft in midflight -- dressed in a business suit.

Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson as Ethan Hunt and Ilsa Faust in ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’

“Tom Cruise is the very definition of movie star, but beyond that he is a tireless marketing machine,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a box office analyst for Rentrak. “He has essentially written the playbook on how to manifest the perfect combination of star-power based publicity along with producer-based business acumen.”

Coming in at a distant second was Warner Bros.’s “Vacation” which earned $14.8 million between Friday and Sunday.

Ed Helms

The comedy starring Ed Helms is the fifth installment of the “Vacation” franchise. Since opening on Wednesday, it has made $21.1 million for Warner Bros. (which, like CNN, is owned by Time Warner).

Paul Rudd stars as "Ant-Man," also known as Scott Lan, a superhero who can change his size. "Ant-Man" is scheduled to release July 17, 2015.

Paul Rudd stars as “Ant-Man,” also known as Scott Lan, a superhero who can change his size. “Ant-Man” is scheduled to release July 17, 2015.

Two big films about small characters, Universal’s “Minions” and Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” battled it out for third place. The $12.6 million of “Ant-Man” just edged out the $12.1 million of “Minions.”

Universal Studios released the first official trailer for "The Minions." The movie is scheduled to be released in July 2015.

Universal Studios released the first official trailer for “The Minions.” The movie is scheduled to be released in July 2015.

And to round out the top five was Sony’s “Pixels” with $10.4 million. Box office sales for the Adam Sandler comedy dropped 57% from last week when it took second place.

Sony and Columbia Pictures' video game comedy opens this weekend and is projected to bring in $20 million to $30 million, according to box office analysts. However, some are going as high as $40 million. One of the reasons why the film may be hard to forecast could be due to its star, Adam Sandler.

Sony and Columbia Pictures’ video game comedy opens this weekend and is projected to bring in $20 million to $30 million, according to box office analysts. However, some are going as high as $40 million. One of the reasons why the film may be hard to forecast could be due to its star, Adam Sandler.

As the summer box office season nears its end with next week’s “Fantastic Four,” Hollywood has a lot to be happy about. The 2015 summer box office is up 12.5% overall from last year.

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