Box Office Saturday Update: "Mission Impossible III" Grossed $17M on Friday

Tom Cruise topped the box office with his highly-publicized spy sequel Mission: Impossible III on Friday which grossed an estimated $17M in its first day of release.

The figure for the Paramount franchise film was almost identical to the $16.5M that its predecessor MI2 grossed on its first Friday during the Memorial Day frame in 2000. Ticket prices were much lower six years ago plus the second Ethan Hunt pic debuted on a Wednesday which softened its Friday performance. Given MI3's Friday bow, higher ticket prices, and 400 additional theaters, industry expectations saw the new installment opening with more muscle.



Mission III's opening day gross fell a bit below those of some other recent star-driven summer spy flicks. Matt Damon's The Bourne Supremacy opened in July 2004 with a Friday take of $19.1M on its way to a $52.5M weekend while last June's Mr. & Mrs. Smith bowed to $18.6M leading to a $50.3M frame. This weekend, Tom Cruise and pals may find themselves with $45-50M over the Friday-to-Sunday period.

Two smaller films also set sail on Friday at theaters across North America. The supernatural thriller An American Haunting debuted with an estimated $2M while the kid drama Hoot opened with an estimated $1M. For the weekend, look for three-day grosses of about $5-6M for Haunting and roughly $4M for Hoot.

Among holdovers, Friday-to-Friday declines were 37% for RV, 54% for Stick It, and 59% for United 93.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $30.3M on Friday which was up 17% from a year ago when Kingdom of Heaven bowed to a Friday gross of $7.3M on its way to a $19.6M weekend debut.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, BoxOfficeGuru.com

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