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.