In a momentous weekend at the international box office, Paramount and Skydance’s latest offering, the seventh film in the “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One,” starring none other than Tom Cruise, ignited box office results around the globe. With an impressive $235M debut, the film, the seventh in the Mission: Impossible franchise, has marked its presence in 70 international markets, accounting for a staggering 93% of the offshore footprint, excluding Japan that is yet to join the ranks.This impressive debut makes it the highest-grossing film in the franchise to date.
Its thunderous global start, however, was somewhat stifled in China, where the cinematic climate and dwindling audience interest in Hollywood movies cast their shadow over the launch, with the initial box office sales falling behind the franchise’s previous installment.
Hitting the High Notes
Even though China’s contribution didn’t match the expectations, the film still registered a remarkable overseas debut. If we put China’s influence aside, the film amassed a staggering $129.6M. This noteworthy figure outpaces the previous installment, “Mission: Impossible Fallout,” by 15% based on similar opening conditions. Thus, when removing China from the equation, this makes “Dead Reckoning Part One,” an action film, the largest and highest-grossing opening for the franchise.
The new installment of the M:I franchise struck gold across multiple international territories. Among these, 35 markets, including the UK, Australia/New Zealand, Brazil, India, Netherlands, and Scandinavia, witnessed their highest opening weekend for any M:I film. Its domestic performance was equally impressive, with the movie setting a franchise record for a 5-day opening with $80M.
“The shift to IMAX in moviegoing has never been more apparent than this summer, with ‘Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One’ just the latest in a long line of global releases in which we delivered an outsized share of box office“, said Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax in a statement. “The fact that this franchise, now an impossible film, has scored its biggest opening ever with its seventh installment is a stunning testament to the timeless allure of Tom Cruise and his peerless brand of blockbuster filmmaking.”
The Roadblocks and Challenges
Despite these gains, the journey wasn’t entirely smooth. The performance in China was particularly disappointing. The launch there reeled in only $25.4M, a figure which stands 66% below the preceding movie “Fallout,” released under vastly different market conditions. Even though M:I7 is still among the top three presold films for the upcoming days, the film lost screens throughout the weekend. This is an indication of the prevailing challenging atmosphere in the market concerning studio movies.
High-Octane IMAX Experience
The film’s IMAX release, however, has been an entirely different story. The film netted a cool $25M globally, earning the top spot for the franchise’s highest start ever in the format and the second-best launch of 2023. The international contribution to this figure stands at a whopping $14M, marking the highest IMAX debut in July and the third-highest for a Paramount movie.
The seventh installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise is directed by Christopher McQuarrie. The cast also includes Hayley Atwell, Vanessa Kirby, Henry Czerny, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, and Simon Pegg.
Striking Gold in Key Markets
The strength of the Mission Impossible franchise, along with Tom Cruise’s popularity, didn’t fail to impress in several international markets. After China, Korea emerged as the top market, generating a whopping $14.3M on 599 screens. Close on its heels was the UK, where the film raked in $13.8M, becoming the best start for the franchise across 717 locations. India, another significant market, launched the film with a number one $9M at 1,872 locations. Other notable market contributions include Australia ($8.3M), France ($7.7M), and Taiwan ($7M).
Not All Smooth Sailing
However, it wasn’t a smooth ride everywhere. The film’s performance in Italy was rather lukewarm, with the film opening to just $1.9M. While the movie did secure a No. 1 bow, this figure is considered low, particularly for a market that is still struggling to regain its pre-pandemic momentum. The summer season, which is typically challenging for programming, coupled with searing temperatures in Southern Europe, might have contributed to this.
Promotional Blitz and Global Tour
The robust promotional activities and tireless efforts of its star Tom Cruise played a significant role in setting the stage for the movie’s success. The worldwide promotional tour, featuring high-profile stops in Rome, London, Abu Dhabi, Seoul, and Sydney, made headlines around the globe. The premiere in Rome was a grand affair held on the Spanish Steps and was nothing short of epic.
A Glance at Promotional Strategies
The promotional campaign for “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One” began in May 2022, with the unveiling of the teaser trailer, followed by a host of behind-the-scenes glimpses into the making of the film. Various featurettes gave fans a sneak peek into the stunts and the locales where the movie was shot, from the car chases in Rome to the filming in Venice and Abu Dhabi.
An Extensive Global Tour
Following the campaign launch, a global tour was initiated which started with the world premiere in Rome and then moved to other important cities like London, Abu Dhabi, Seoul, and Sydney. Despite a strike, the movie’s lead actor, Tom Cruise, managed to keep the hype up by appearing at these events.
Marketing Highlights in Abu Dhabi and Seoul
Significant events happened during the tour. In Abu Dhabi, the Mission Impossible branded Etihad plane was unveiled at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new Midfield Terminal. The premiere took place at the beachfront Emirates Palace Hotel, which was attended by international and Middle Eastern creators. Special TikTok content from four creators with a combined reach of 60M further amplified the event’s impact.
The Seoul stop included a press conference, photo call, and a red-carpet premiere at Lotte World Tower, attended by Korean and Asian market creators. These engagements helped boost the movie’s visibility on social media and generated positive word-of-mouth.
The Sydney Spectacle and Other Media Engagements
In Sydney, the tour included a photo call against the backdrop of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. The event culminated with Tom Cruise lighting the fuse to kick off a “Mission: Impossible” themed firework display over Sydney Harbour in celebration of his birthday.
To further capitalize on the buzz surrounding the film, a one-hour Sky TV special ran in the UK, Germany, and Italy, highlighting the key stunts of the entire franchise while focusing on “Dead Reckoning Part One.” Various high-impact placements in the UEFA Champions League, CONCACAF Gold Cup, MotoGP, and F1 Silverstone further solidified the movie’s visibility in the media.
Amplifying Reach through Brand Partnerships
The promotional campaign was expanded significantly through international brand partnerships. Some noteworthy collaborators included Bose in France, BBVA in Mexico, Shell in Germany, 7-Eleven in Korea, and Family Mart in Japan. These associations further enhanced the movie’s reach, making the promotion even more impactful.
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