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Sunday Update: Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation delivered this weekend with an estimated first place debut of $56.0 million. The well received fifth installment of the Tom Cruise led action franchise opened towards the higher end of its wide ranging expectations. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Rogue Nation claimed the second largest opening weekend take of the Mission: Impossible franchise; behind only the $57.85 million opening weekend of 2000's Mission: Impossible II. Rogue Nation opened 17 percent ahead of the $47.74 million debut of 2006's Mission: Impossible III, though it should also be noted that the opening weekend of Mission: Impossible III adjusts to $61.15 million when taking into account ticket price inflation. Pre-release tracking had been surprisingly soft for Rogue Nation, but the film was ultimately able to get off to a good start thanks in part to its very strong critical reviews and to the rest of the marketplace being fairly empty for this time of year.

Rogue Nation opened with $20.32 million on Friday (which included an estimated $4.0 million from Thursday evening shows), fell a slim 3 percent on Saturday to gross $19.71 million and is estimated to decline 19 percent on Sunday to gross $15.98 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at a solid 2.76 to 1. Early word of mouth appears to be very strong for Rogue Nation, as the film received an A- rating on CinemaScore and currently boasts a 92 percent audience score on Flixster. With that in mind, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is likely to hold up relatively well going forward, though the film will also face significant competition over the next two weeks from Fox's Fantastic Four, Universal's Straight Outta Compton and Warner's The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

The audience breakdown for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation skewed heavily towards moviegoers 25 years and older (81 percent) and towards male moviegoers (62 percent).

Warner's Vacation debuted in a distant second place this weekend with $14.85 million. The comedy franchise re-launch starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate has grossed $21.17 million in five days since opening on Wednesday. That is below the already scaled back expectations for the film. Vacation is running a distant 44 percent behind the $37.91 million five-day launch of 2013's We're the Millers. Instead, Vacation performed much more in line with the $19.10 million five-day start of 2012's Hope Springs. Poor critical reviews certainly didn't help matters for Vacation and the film's R rating appears to have limited some of its potential with younger moviegoers this weekend as 64 percent of the film's audience was 25 years and older. Vacation skewed slightly towards female moviegoers (53 percent).

On the positive side of things, Vacation was quite back-loaded towards the weekend as it registered an estimated five-day to three-day weekend ratio of 1.43 to 1. That suggests that the film may be naturally back-loaded going forward. Over the three-day frame, Vacation had an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.30 to 1 (the film took in $4.50 million on Friday, increased 28 percent on Saturday to gross $5.77 million and is estimated to decrease 21 percent on Sunday to gross $4.58 million). Vacation may also be aided by the relative lack of new comedies arriving in the marketplace throughout the rest of August. On the other hand, the film's modest B rating on CinemaScore isn't the most encouraging early sign, though it does suggest that the film is going over better with moviegoers than it has with critics.

It was a close race for third place this weekend between Ant-Man and Minions. Disney's Ant-Man currently has the edge for third with an estimated weekend take of $12.62 million. The Paul Rudd led 3D superhero film from Marvel was down a sizable 49 percent from last weekend, as it clearly took a direct hit from the arrival of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation in the marketplace. Ant-Man has grossed a solid $132.15 million through 17 days of release. That places the film just 8 percent behind the $143.20 million 17-day gross of 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger.

Minions placed in fourth with an estimated $12.16 million. The 3D computer animated prequel from Universal and Illumination Entertainment currently trails Ant-Man by only an estimated $464,000 for the frame. Minions was down a significant 47 percent from last weekend, as the film continues to feel the effect of mixed word of mouth (especially among adults). With that said, Minions has grossed an impressive $287.35 million in 24 days. That places the film 3 percent behind the $295.26 million 24-day take of 2013's Despicable Me 2.

Sony's Pixels rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $10.4 million. The Adam Sandler led 3D action comedy fell a sharp 57 percent from last weekend. The film's percentage hold was lackluster, especially on the heels of last weekend's much softer than expected debut. With a ten-day gross of $45.61 million, Pixels is running a disappointing 42.5 percent behind the $79.39 million ten-day gross of 2013's Grown Ups 2 and just ahead of the $44.56 million ten-day take of 2012's Battleship.

Trainwreck followed in sixth with an estimated $9.69 million. The critically acclaimed Amy Schumer led comedy from director Judd Apatow was down a respectable 44 percent. While Trainwreck has already registered a total gross to opening weekend ratio of 2.65 to 1, the film is also displaying more front-loading than is often usual for a film from Apatow; likely a result of Schumer's fanbase having rushed out to see the film. Trainwreck has grossed a strong $79.70 million in 17 days, which places it an impressive 35 percent ahead of the $59.09 million 17-day gross of 2009's Julie & Julia.

The Weinstein Company's Southpaw landed in seventh place with an estimated $7.52 million. The Jake Gyllenhaal led sports drama was down a sharp 55 percent from last weekend, which does take a bit of the luster off of last weekend's stronger than expected debut. Even with this weekend's decline, Southpaw is still off to a solid ten-day start of $31.58 million. The film is currently running 22 percent ahead of the $25.98 million ten-day gross of 2012's End of Watch.

Saturday Update: Paramount reports that Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation earned a solid $20.3 million on opening day Friday, including Thursday night's $4 million start. Yesterday's bow was almost 4 percent stronger than 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($19.5 million), which also opened in early August. Rogue's first day take is also 22 percent higher than Mission: Impossible III's $16.6 million bow in May 2006, which adjusts to a comparable $20.6 million using 2015 ticket prices. Early word of mouth for the fifth installment in the series is excellent as the pic boasts an "A-" CinemaScore and a 93 percent Flixster user score, one of the three best day-after-release scores among all 2015 releases -- and that's on top of its excellent 93 percent rating from critics. Beyond the film's strong reviews, goodwill from the previous blockbuster installment (Ghost Protocol) is carrying over here. We fully expect long legs throughout the remainder of summer. BoxOffice is projecting an opening weekend around $55 million for the Tom Cruise vehicle.

In second place, the Vacation revamp added $4.5 million on Friday, giving it a domestic total of $10.82 million through three days of play. By comparison, that's 46 percent lower than We're the Millers at the same point. Unfortunately, the comedy sequel isn't finding much traction following negative reviews (28 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and poor word of mouth (64 percent on Flixster; "B" CinemaScore). BoxOffice is projecting a three-day weekend of $13.9 million for Vacation, which would give it a disappointing overall five-day start of $20.2 million.

Meanwhile, Ant-Man claimed third place yesterday with $3.625 million (off 50 percent from last Friday). That gives Marvel's 12th chapter $123.15 million through 15 days of release. BoxOffice projects a $12.4 million third frame.

Just behind in fourth place, Minions declined 47 percent from last Friday to $3.6 million yesterday. The prequel has now banked $278.8 million domestically. Look for a weekend around $12 million, according to Universal.

Filling out the top five, Pixels sank 65 percent from its opening day last week to $3.15 million yesterday. With an underwhelming eight-day domestic tally of $38.36 million, the Adam Sandler pic is heading toward a sophomore frame around $10.3 million.

Check BoxOffice on Sunday for official weekend estimates from the studios.

Friday Update #2: Sources report that Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is trending for a possible opening day close to $20 million. If that early projection holds, the well-reviewed Tom Cruise franchise pic could be heading for an opening weekend of $50 million or more.

Meanwhile, Vacation is heading for a three-day frame around $12-13 million, which would give it a disappointing five-day opening south of $20 million. The comedy franchise revival could even potentially rank behind Ant-Man and Minions for the weekend.

Check BoxOffice on Saturday morning for more concrete weekend projections based on the studios' official Friday estimates.

Friday Update #1: Paramount reports this morning that Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation earned an estimated $4.0 million from Thursday's opening night shows. That's a strong start for the fifth entry in the Tom Cruise franchise, besting the $3.7 million earned by Mad Max: Fury Road in May and nearly matching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' $4.1 million Thursday start last summer. It remains to be seen how front-loaded the new Mission will be, but with strong reviews, excellent early word of mouth, and an audience that will likely skew older, things are trending toward solid opening weekend.

Meanwhile, Vacation was off 36 percent from opening day to an estimated $2.46 million on Thursday. That's a somewhat sharper drop than the 30.5 percent Wed-to-Thu decline seen by 2013's We're the Millers, putting Vacation a little over 45 percent behind that film's two-day total with $6.28 million.

More to come later today and throughout the weekend.

Thursday Update: Warner Bros. reports that Vacation took in an estimated $3.805 million on opening day Wednesday, including Tuesday's early grosses. By comparison, that's 44 percent below the Wednesday bow ($6.78 million) of August 2013's We're the Millers.

Wednesday Update: Warner Bros. reports that Vacation grossed $1.2 million from last night's early shows. That's a solid start for the franchise sequel, although it falls short of the $1.7 million earned by We're the Millers in August 2013 with its mid-week release. The latter flick went on to tally $37.9 million over its five-day debut (including a $26.4 million three-day weekend). Considering poor reviews are plaguing the Vacation revival, the film won't hit that level of performance in the coming days. At its current pace, a five-day bow below $30 million is looking more likely.

More updates as they come throughout the week and weekend.

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By Daniel Garris

Minions was up two spots from Wednesday to lead the daily box office on Thursday with $2.82 million. The blockbuster 3D computer animated spin-off from Universal and Illumination Entertainment was unchanged from Wednesday and down a solid 41 percent from last Thursday. Minions placed in second for the week with $35.67 million. That represented a sizable 51 percent decline from the previous week and brings the film's three-week total to a very impressive $275.19 million.

Disney's Ant-Man held steady in second place with $2.71 million. The Paul Rudd led superhero film from Marvel fell 10 percent from Wednesday and 42 percent from last Thursday as the film clearly took a hit from the evening launch of Paramount's Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. Ant-Man was the week's top film with a weekly take of $38.22 million. The film was down 53 percent from its opening week performance and continues to run towards the lower end of expectations with a solid two-week start of $119.53 million.

Vacation was down two spots and 34.5 percent from its opening day performance to land in third with $2.50 million. The comedy franchise re-launch from Warner Bros. has grossed a modest $6.32 million in its first two days. That is below pre-release expectations and places the film an underwhelming 45 percent behind the $11.49 million two-day midweek start of 2013's We're the Millers. At its current pace, Vacation appears headed for a soft five-day start in the area of $20 million.

Sony's Pixels took in $2.25 million to remain in fourth place. The Adam Sandler led 3D action comedy declined 6 percent from Wednesday. Pixels placed in third for the week with a lackluster seven-day start of $35.21 million. The film is currently running 41 percent behind the $59.52 million seven-day gross of 2013's Grown Ups 2, which is especially disappointing when considering that Pixels has the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions.

Universal's Trainwreck rounded out Thursday's top five with $1.84 million. The critically acclaimed Amy Schumer led comedy was down 8 percent from Wednesday and down 41 percent from last Thursday. Trainwreck took fourth place for the week with $25.76 million. That represented a 42 percent decline from the film's opening week performance and places the film's two-week total at a strong $70.01 million.

Southpaw and Paper Towns rounded out their first week of release with respective sixth place and seventh place takes of $1.50 million and $1.33 million. The Weinstein Company's Southpaw fell 7 percent from Wednesday, while Fox's Paper Towns was down 6 percent. Southpaw exceeded expectations this week with a fifth place seven-day take of $22.56 million. Paper Towns opened well below expectations with a soft sixth place seven-day start of $17.88 million, though it should be noted that Paper Towns carried the smaller production budget between the two films.

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vac-pix.pngWarner Bros. reports that the Vacation revamp grossed a soft $3.82 million on opening day Wednesday, including Tuesday night's $1.2 million early show earnings. Unfortunately, that puts the sequel 44 percent behind the $6.78 million first day take of August 2013's We're the Millers, which also opened on a Wednesday. If Vacation can follow a similar pattern to that film, it would land around $20 million for its five-day opening, although a total under that mark looks more likely right now.

Scooting down to second place yesterday, Ant-Man was off 41 percent from last Wednesday to $3.01 million. That gives it a 13-day domestic total of $116.8 million, 8 percent behind Captain America: The First Avenger and 12 percent ahead of The Incredible Hulk.

Minions grabbed third place with $2.82 million on Wednesday, down 45.5 percent from last week. With $272.4 million in the bank so far, the prequel is pacing 2.5 percent behind Despicable Me 2.

Pixels placed fourth with $2.39 million yesterday, giving the Adam Sandler pic a six-day haul of $32.97 million. Unfortunately, the film isn't connecting in the way once hoped as it stands just 17 percent ahead of where Sandler's Jack & Jill stood at the same point in release.

In fifth place, Trainwreck grabbed almost $2 million for a 40 percent drop from last Wednesday. The hit comedy's 13-day gross is a strong $68.2 million, putting it just 7 percent behind the pace of 2007's Knocked Up.

Southpaw earned $1.62 million in its sixth day of release. With a healthy total of $22.56 million so far, the film is pacing 32 percent ahead of End of Watch.

Meanwhile, Paper Towns claimed sixth place on Wednesday with a gross of $1.415 million. The young adult drama's six-day tally is $17.88 million, putting it 8 percent behind the pace of If I Stay and 71 percent behind The Fault In Our Stars.

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By Daniel Garris

Disney's Ant-Man took in $4.27 million on Tuesday to lead the daily box office for a fourth consecutive day. The Paul Rudd led superhero film from Marvel was up 28 percent over Monday and down a respectable 46 percent from last Tuesday. Ant-Man continues to perform on the lower end of expectations with a solid $113.81 million twelve-day take. The film is currently running 11.5 percent ahead of the $102.04 million twelve-day gross of 2008's The Incredible Hulk and 9 percent behind the $124.48 million twelve-day total of 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger.

Minions remained in a close second with $4.01 million. The blockbuster 3D computer animated spin-off from Universal and Illumination Entertainment was up 30 percent over Monday, but was still down a sizable 50 percent from last Tuesday. While Minions has been significantly front-loaded thus far, in the bigger picture the film remains a very strong performer with a 19-day take of $269.55 million. That places Minions 2 percent behind the $276.01 million 19-day gross of 2013's Despicable Me 2.

Sony's Pixels held steady in third place with $3.71 million. The Adam Sandler led 3D action comedy increased 29.5 percent over Monday. Pixels surpassed the $30 million mark yesterday and has grossed a lackluster $30.58 million in its first five days. The film is currently running a disappointing 41 percent behind the $51.54 million five-day start of 2013's Grown Ups 2 and 15 percent ahead of the $26.50 million five-day take of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 earlier this year (neither of which had the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions that Pixels has).

Universal's Trainwreck continued to claim fourth with $2.51 million. The critically acclaimed Amy Schumer led comedy from director Judd Apatow was up 17 percent over Monday and down 40 percent from last Tuesday. Trainwreck has grossed a very promising $66.17 million through twelve days. That places the film an impressive 41 percent ahead of the $46.87 million twelve-day take of 2009's Julie & Julia and 7 percent behind the $71.11 million twelve-day gross of 2007's Knocked Up.

The Weinstein Company's Southpaw rounded out the day's unchanged top five with $2.24 million. The Antoine Fuqua directed sports drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal increased 12 percent over Monday's performance. Southpaw topped the $20 million mark yesterday and is running slightly ahead of expectations with a five-day start of $20.94 million. The film's haul is 32 percent stronger than the $15.91 million five-day gross of 2012's End of Watch.

Paper Towns grossed $2.01 million to remain in sixth place. Fox's modestly budgeted young adult adaptation starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne was up 10.5 percent over Monday. Paper Towns continues to be relatively stronger on weekdays than on weekends. The film has grossed a significantly softer than expected $16.47 million in five days, which places it 11 percent behind the $18.48 million five-day start of last year's If I Stay.

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by Daniel Loria @danyloria

After scoring a hit with their screenplay for Horrible Bosses, writing partners John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein established their reputation as a go-to duo for studio comedies. They teamed up to deliver screenplays for films like The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 before getting the chance to tackle New Line's long-awaited reboot of Vacation. Daley and Goldstein got the nod to make their feature directing debut after delivering their screenplay for the movie, which stars Ed Helms as Rusty Griswold, the now grown-up son of Chevy Chase's Clark Griswold from the original films, as he travels with his family on a nostalgic road trip to Walley World-the theme park where the original Vacation took place. The filmmakers recently spoke with BoxOffice about bringing their take on Vacation to the big screen.

Do you consider Horrible Bosses the breakthrough project in your careers as filmmakers?

Jonathan Goldstein: Horrible Bosses was our big entry into the world of features. It was a project that had been kicking around for a while when we got involved, and we were really psyched with how it came together-we were so happy with the cast that signed on and how the movie turned out.

John Francis Daley: We had written a couple of things for New Line before Horrible Bosses came to be. What was crazy was that it was put together faster than anything that we had previously worked on, which just goes to show the pace that something gets picked up when people get excited about making a movie. Makes us wonder what the heck they thought about our other movies.

How did you first encounter your latest project, Vacation?

JFD: We were given the chance to write it; New Line wanted to reboot it or make a sequel for a while and were looking for the right people to make it, so they asked us if we'd be interested in it. We saw the inherent risk involved since it's a beloved existing franchise; we knew we had to be careful but were still very interested in taking it on. We pitched ourselves to direct after we finished writing it. 

That's always a tough challenge, getting a project like this one and giving it your own tone and style so it doesn't feel like it's factory-made. How did you go about making Vacation your own?

JG: It was important for us going in that it would be a film that could stand on its own without people having to see the original series of movies, but would still pay respects to the original because it's such a comedy classic. Our film introduces the next generation with Ed Helms playing Rusty Griswold all grown up, married, and taking his own family on a trip to Walley World-remembering the trip he took when he was a boy and the character was played by Anthony Michael Hall. He's blocked out all the terrible things that happened on that trip.

You were originally slated for release in October.

JFD: We had always wanted this to be a summer movie: it takes place during the summer, it's a family road-trip movie, and we were just really excited that the studio moved up our release date. We were championing a summer release from the get-go.

JG: These are decisions that are made on a very high level and are usually a result of an early preview screening, in this case in Burbank, and it played so well with the audience-the laughter, excitement, and energy was great. Warner Bros. felt confident enough to move us up to summer against the new Mission: Impossible. What can go wrong?

Is your working relationship any different when you're on set directing as opposed to writing?

JG: Everything we do on set is very collaborative. We've heard that some directors divide what they focus on-some work closer with actors while others are looking more at technical aspects-and while sometimes I wish we could do that, mostly because it would probably be more efficient, we're both more involved in every aspect. 

JFD: It would also be a flaming violation of DGA regulations [laughs]. The way we write is always together in the same room, and that's different from a lot of writing teams that go off and do their own drafts separately. We direct in the same way, always throwing ideas at each other. It's easier to know if something works if you have someone else weighing in with their opinion. 

JG: Especially in comedy, we've found that if one of us finds something funny but the other doesn't, it's questionable. But if we both think it's funny, we figure it's probably going to seem funny to other people. 

JFD: Or we could just be the only two weird people in the world who think it's funny.

JG: Yes, that also happens. 

Are there advantages to working with your own screenplay?

JG: As writers, we imagine how everything would look when we write it. You have the freedom to create anything. As directors, it's all the more satisfying when you have the idea for something and have the chance to put it up on the screen. In a way there's a greater sense of freedom there. But there are also limitations in that, all of a sudden, all the things you imagined on the page are, in reality, practically impossible to realize. So you really need to navigate what's possible and what isn't. We have a fight sequence near the end of the movie, and in the script we wrote, "They fight." When you show up on set, you need to get a fight choreographer and spend a lot of time in making sure the fight works. Those are the details you need to pay attention to when directing after getting used to simply writing something and letting someone else figure it out.

I'm very interested to see these characters go back to Walley World, but did you ever consider setting it abroad? Europe, Latin America?

JG: We have to save something for the sequel!

JFD: It was New Line's idea to bring back the notion of a road trip, and we thought that if we were to put them back in a car and make them go cross-country, it would not be gratifying unless their final destination was Walley World again. We embraced the fact that it was something Rusty did 30 years ago. We also wanted to have Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo in the movie at some point; it would have been far-fetched to have them in the movie if we had set it in a far-flung destination. 

Did you have anyone in mind for any specific role?

JG: We always had Ed Helms in mind for the lead; he's perfectly suited to play the likable, somewhat put-upon dad. There are two sons in the movie, and we had a nationwide search to find the kids. Christina Applegate is on our short list of the funniest women in comedy, and we were very excited to have her on board. The rest was just a process of figuring out the funniest possible people we could get to be in the movie. Chris Hemsworth was a surprise to us; he was suggested to us by his agent and had never really done comedy before. We know him from Thor and he's certainly good looking, but we had no idea what we were going to get-and we couldn't be happier with how damn funny he is. I think he has a big career in comedy ahead of him.  

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