Mission: Impossible struggles at box office against record-breaking might of Barbenheimer

Greta Gerwig has broken the record for the biggest ever opening weekend for a female director with ‘Barbie’

Ellie Harrison
Monday 24 July 2023 08:21 BST
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Mission Impossible 7 Dead Reckoning Part 1 trailer

Tom Cruise seems to be facing his very own Mission: Impossible as the latest movie in the action franchise, Dead Reckoning, continues to struggle at the box office against the dual releases of Barbie and Oppenheimer.

In its second weekend, Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One fell by 64 per cent to $19.5m (£15m) when going up against Barbie and Oppenheimer.

The films, directed by Greta Gerwig and Christopher Nolan respectively, made the weekend of 21-23 July the fourth-biggest of all time in the US box office, and marked the the first time ever that one movie opened to $100m or more – Barbie with $155m (£120m) – and another to $50m or more – Oppenheimer with $80.5m (£62.5m).

Barbie, which stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as the Mattel dolls, broke the opening weekend record for a female director. Patty Jenkins’ 2017 movie Wonder Woman had the previous record with a $103.3m (£80.3m) domestic opening.

While Dead Reckoning, which is the seventh outing in the Mission: Impossible series, faces a threat at the box office, it currently has a better critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes (96 per cent) than both Barbie (90 per cent) and atomic bomb epic Oppenheimer (94 per cent).

Speaking in a recent interview with The Independent, Nolan described Oppenheimer as “the biggest film I’ve made”. Its lead star Cillian Murphy admitted to struggling to watch the film due to seeing his face projected on the screen, but acknowleged that the film is “designed” to be “watched with an audience”.

Mission: Impossible movies historically fly at the foreign box office, and Dead Reckoning has continued this trend. The film has brought in another another $55m (£42.7m) from 72 markets in its second weekend for a foreign total of $252.1m (£195.8m).

Hayley Atwell and Tom Cruise in ‘Dead Reckoning’

Commenting on the box office performances, one industry source told The Hollywood Reporter: “Barbenheimer siphoned off MI7’s potential this weekend, with Oppenheimer drawing older males away from Dead Reckoning.

“Not only that, Sound of Freedom is an unexpected force to be reckoned with and is presenting competition from an unlikely source.”

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Sound of Freedom is an action movie starring Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard, a former government agent who embarks on a mission to rescue children from sex traffickers in Colombia.

Read The Independent’s four-star review of MI7 here, Barbie (five stars) here and Oppenheimer (four stars) here.

Follow live updates on the releases of Barbie and Oppenheimer here.

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