No Vacation for Tom Cruise as Rogue Nation Hits
By John Hamann
August 2, 2015
Reviews were terrible (and the bad ones were nasty), with this version of Vacation coming in at only 23% fresh (the original is listed at 93% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes). I then thought that maybe reviewers were missing the glory days of old, and maybe this reboot isn’t as bad as they said, but the Cinemascore came in at a B, matching that of Pixels and Tomorrowland, two of the more notoriously bad films of the summer so far. Would audiences attend anyway?
Thankfully, they did not. Vacation opened on Tuesday night with previews and earned a laughably bad $1.2 million. That debut followed efforts by Warner Bros. to hold reviews back from patrons. Variety’s review hit on Monday, July 27th, and some outlets didn’t post until Tuesday or Wednesday (Fantastic Four will be the same next weekend). Those horrible reviews led to a Tuesday/Wednesday of $3.8 million, which finished the story right there. The Thursday was 35% lower at $2.5 million (behind Ant-Man and Minions). Friday was $4.5 million, which led to a weekend take of only $14.9 million and a five-day tally of $21.2 million. The good news for Warner Bros. is that this sad re-imagining of a treasure cost only $31 million to make, so other than destroying America’s memories of a classic, they should make out just fine. Why they had to take this in such a foul direction leaves me behind, but they needed to shoot higher than We’re the Millers. For me, this is the summer’s greatest disappointment.
Finishing in third place is Marvel’s Ant-Man, the now three-weekend-old superhero. After two weekends at number one, Ant-Man slips to third, but thanks to the implosion of Pixels and Vacation, it has seen some decent legs instead of getting buried. This weekend, Ant-Man earned another $12.6 million, off 49% compared to last weekend. That’s right in the neighborhood of Captain America’s third weekend at $13 million and far better than $9.6 million the Ed Norton version of The Incredible Hulk earned in its third frame. Ant-Man will have overtaken The Incredible Hulk’s domestic tally of $134.8 million shortly, but it is a long shot to beat Captain America’s $176 million. Overseas, Ant-Man is just ahead with the domestic tally, and will need to exceed it by around $100 million to get this one into the Marvel profit column.
Fourth is Minions, as our little yellow friends strive for $300 million. Since its debut, Minions has not had a drop below 50%, but narrowly see its first this weekend. Minions earned $12.2 million in its fourth frame and dropped an improved 47%. Minions improves its domestic gross to $287.4 million, and should see $300 million next weekend or shortly after, and has already cracked the half-billion mark overseas. Remember, this Universal/Illumination Entertainment release cost only $75 million to make it, and it’s going to at least approach a billion worldwide.
Fifth is Pixels, Adam Sandler’s latest misfire. Despite opening to only $24 million last weekend, Pixels still got slammed in weekend two, earning only $10.4 million and dropping 57%. Pixels cost $88 million to make and has a gross to date of only $45.6 million. Pixels and Vacation have a lot in common, as they were both premises that could have worked, but the writers, filmmakers and stars got sloppy. They're paying for it.