Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
May 6, 2006

Cruise and friends pose for a photo at a scenic junkyard.

Perhaps there can be such a thing as negative publicity.

Mission: Impossible III

The latest entry in the Tom Cruise franchise opened to $17 million on Friday. Now hang on because this is going to be a little while.

While $17 million is a big number in and of itself, to put it mildly, this is quite disappointing. Throw out last year's stinker Kingdom of Heaven and look back at Van Helsing, the movie that kicked off the 2004 summer season. That earned $19.7 million Friday, on its way to $51.7 million. This is the third entry in a very successful franchise (granted, it's been six years, but when has time between films ever affected an event movie like this?), starring arguably the most bankable actor of the last decade and a half whose only box office missteps came when he was attempting to win an Oscar. Now, when the movie that makes fun of you (that would be Scary Movie 4, for those keeping score at home) opens as strongly than you do, it's time to take a good, long look in the mirror.

With ridiculously wide availability thanks to over 4,000 venues, there are plenty of good seats available for the rest of the weekend. We'll give Mission: Impossible III a weekend multiplier of 2.7, for a weekend tally of $45.9 million and a whole summer's worth of discussion over whether Cruise's erratic behavior was to blame.

An American Haunting

While it may have only earned $2 million Friday, we do applaud heretofore unknown distributor Freestyle for landing in third place on Friday with An American Haunting. While it was the 68th horror movie released in 2006, it was stylish and spooky enough that it didn't need 3,000-plus screens to make an impact. Look for it to finish with about $5.3 million for the weekend.


Nobody seemed too give, um, two hoots about Hoot this weekend, with a mere $963,000 on a big 3,000 screens. Figure about $3.5 million as the best the New Line release can hope for.

Notable Holdovers

Robin Williams' RV falls 36% from last Friday, decent but not spectacular for a family film. It did have a very good internal multiplier last weekend and should pull in around $12 million in its second weekend.

Stick It does not nail the dismount as it falls about 55% from a Friday ago. But give it just under $6 million for the weekend.

United 93 does not fare very well in its second weekend, falling 59% from the previous Friday. Figure about $5 million for the weekend.