Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation fends off Fantastic Four 2015 with 29 million, Shaun the Sheep movie underperforms due to lackluster family viewing; Paramount increases movie list to 15 movies after tough movie run so far; Sony Pictures to release 16 films after Pixels flop




Tom Cruise survives while Shaun takes a dive! I’m Realistic Fish Head! After last week’s double shooting that sent movie going down 8%, the box office was in a midst of a repeat of what happened back in 2012, It didn’t happen! With the promise of movie theater security in Tennessee and Louisiana, everything was back in business as MI:5 scored their 2nd week in a row with 29 million shooting down Fantastic Four 2015 easily. 2 new arrivals Ricki in the Flash and The Gift clocked in just in time to beat the numbers from box office officials which in turn took out Shaun the Sheep movie out of the top 10! To make matters worse, families were very unfamiliar with the award winning non-dialoged CBBC show due to this scenario back in the UK. Gene, is there any hope for Shaun and the flock going forward or will their chances in the box office be short lived?








Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was able to hold off Fantastic Four this weekend to remain in first place at the box office. Paramount’s Rogue Nation led the way with an estimated $29.4 million, which represented a solid 47 percent decline from last weekend’s debut. In the process, the fifth installment of the Tom Cruise led action franchise surpassed the $100 million domestic mark this weekend. Rogue Nation has grossed $108.65 million in ten days, as the film continues to perform in line with pre-release expectations. The film is currently running 28 percent ahead of the $85.10 million ten-day take of 2006’s Mission: Impossible III (which fell 48 percent in its second weekend to gross $25.01 million) and 3 percent ahead of the $105.21 million ten-day gross of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which fell 49 percent in its second weekend to gross $27.83 million).  Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is likely to hold up well throughout the rest of August, thanks in part to strong word of mouth and in part to the limited amount of new competition it will be facing throughout the second half of the month.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation took in an estimated $4.3 million from IMAX locations this weekend. That helped contribute to the film’s solid hold this weekend and represented 14.6 percent of the film’s overall weekend gross. The total IMAX domestic gross for Rogue Nation stands at $15.5 million to date.

Fantastic Four was off to a very weak second place start this weekend with an estimated $26.2 million. Fox’s relaunch attempt of the Marvel superhero franchise didn’t come anywhere close to expectations, which had tended to range from $40 million to $50 million heading into the weekend. Poor critical reviews and toxic early word of mouth that spread like wildfire as the weekend went on both clearly took a major toll on the film. In addition to the poor reception to the film, the decision to aim Fantastic Four heavily towards the young adult audience appears to have backfired as well. Fantastic Four opened a disappointing 55 percent behind the $58.05 million debut of 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and only outpaced the $22.00 million start of 2012’s Chronicle (which was also directed by Josh Trank) by 19 percent.

Fantastic Four opened with $11.28 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.7 million from Thursday evening shows), fell a troubling 25 percent on Saturday to gross $8.50 million and is estimated to fall 24 percent on Sunday to gross $6.43 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of only 2.32 to 1, which obviously isn’t a good sign going forward. As further evidence of just how toxic word early word of mouth for the film is, Fantastic Four earned a poor C- rating on CinemaScore and a Flixster audience score of just 26 percent. Given the poor reaction to the film, a short theatrical life span for Fantastic Four appears to be set in stone.

The news was far more promising for STX Entertainment’s The Gift, as the new distributor’s first release was off to a nice estimated third place start of $12.01 million. The Joel Edgerton directed thriller starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Edgerton outpaced its modest expectations. The Gift was helped out by strong critical reviews and likely also received a bit of a bump from serving as an alternative choice to moviegoers who ultimately passed on Fantastic Four (especially as the weekend went on). The Gift opened nearly on par with the $12.31 million start of The Giver last August and will hope to duplicate the strong holding power of that film going forward.

The Gift took in $4.13 million on Friday (which included an estimated Thursday night start of just $0.59 million), increased an encouraging 10 percent on Saturday to gross $4.54 million and is estimated to decrease 26.5 percent on Sunday to gross $3.34 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.91 to 1.  The Gift received a B rating on CinemaScore, which is a solid early sign, especially for a thriller. Making this weekend’s start even more impressive is that the film’s reported production budget was only $5 million.

Warner’s Vacation took fourth place with an estimated $9.15 million. The comedy franchise re-launch starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate was down a very solid 38 percent from last weekend. Despite this weekend’s hold, Vacation is still running significantly below expectations with a twelve-day start of $37.32 million. That places the film an underwhelming 17 percent behind the $45.06 million twelve-day take of last year’s Let’s Be Cops.

Ant-Man rounded out the weekend’s top five with an estimated $7.83 million. The Paul Rudd led 3D superhero film from Disney and Marvel was down a solid 39 percent, as it also benefited from serving as an alternative choice to Fantastic Four this weekend. Thanks in part to solid holding power thus far, Ant-Man has grossed $147.44 million in 24 days. Ant-Man is now running just 6 percent behind the $156.97 million 24-day gross of 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger.

In other box office news, Universal’s Minions surpassed the $300 million domestic milestone this weekend after finishing in sixth place for the frame with an estimated $7.37 million. The blockbuster 3D computer animated prequel from Illumination Entertainment stabilized a bit this weekend, as it was down 40.5 percent from last weekend. Minions has grossed an impressive $302.72 million in 31 days.

Sony’s Ricki and the Flash debuted in seventh with an estimated $7.0 million. The comedy drama starring Meryl Streep opened on the very low end of its modest expectations and was off to a lackluster start by Streep’s box office standards. However, the film’s opening weekend performance was deflated a bit by the decision to launch the film in a modest 1,603 locations. In an attempt to help the film’s holding power going forward, Ricki and the Flash will be receiving a significant expansion next weekend. Streep’s films also have a history of displaying strong holding power. Ricki and the Flash received a solid B rating on CinemaScore. It should also be noted that the film’s reported production budget was just $18 million.

The weekend’s other new wide release, Shaun the Sheep Movie, opened softly with an estimated eleventh place take of $4.0 million. Despite strong critical reviews, the stop-motion animated film from Lionsgate and Aardman Animations was unable to appeal to family audiences this weekend. Since its debut on Wednesday Shaun the Sheep Movie has grossed $5.57 million in five days. That places the film 55 percent behind the $12.27 million five-day take of 2012’s The Pirates: Band of Misfits (which opened on a Friday). Shaun the Sheep Movie will hope to receive a boost going forward from its strong reviews and from the lack of new family fare entering the marketplace in the near future. The film also received an encouraging B+ rating on CinemaScore.





To recap, MI:5 easily beats out Fantastic Four as it retains its position in 1st and the team 2nd, The Gift delivers high marks in 3rd, Vacation puts the Griswold’s back on track in 4th, and the triumphant Ant-Man powers on in 5th. Never give up hope Shaun fans, history will determine if the sheep can find a way to stay out of trouble from any competition for the rest of the year.



Shaun and the flock may’ve stumbled out of the gate, but this won’t clinch Aardman’s alliance in the box office. You see folks, along with Sony Pictures with Pirates: Misfits back in 2012, DreamWorks first fished out their flicks with Chicken Run in 2003, Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Wererabbit in 2004, and Flushed Away in 2006. So don’t worry, there’s still a wool’s chance that the next batch of animated movies will give Shaun a chance to prove the doubters wrong!




The cable cutters were in a frenzy last week as the media was hit left and right as Disney was slammed on Wall Street taking out the rest of the group except CBS. Viacom was another casualty behind the mouse’s big loss as subscription numbers decreased dramatically as the cutters were one step closer to achieving their goal. Viacom’s CEO Philippe Dauman made sure of that as Paramount was in a tough situation as the rest of the studios were. To that end, the studio followed DreamWorks’ plan of what they did in Fall 2011, shuffle the schedule. The mountain recently planned to release 13 new movies for next year onwards, but there’s another plan in mind. How many movies will the studio do this time Johnny?



Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Viacom’s Paramount Pictures will expand its annual release slate to 15 movies starting next year.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman shared the news on the company’s quarterly earnings conference call on Thursday. The change is expected to kick in as of the 2016 calendar year.

Paramount previously trimmed its slate and managed releases more carefully, with a spokesman saying this year the studio is set to release 13 titles. “With the success of our first Paramount Animation feature, our unparalleled marketing capability and increased production across genres, the studio is stepping up its output and will be back up to its annual target of 15 films in 2016,” Dauman said.


The studio had no wide release in the latest quarter, for which Viacom on Thursday morning reported financials. A spokesman said the studio had 13 films set for theatrical release this year.

Dauman on the call touted the recent performance of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and upcoming releases from or with Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Michael Bay and other big names.

The company said it has wrapped production on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel, Zoolander 2 and others, while it remains in production on the third Star Trek film and others. Also in the works are sequels to World War Z, Jack Reacher, Transformers, SpongeBob and Mission: Impossible.


Dauman on Thursday also touted the early performance of Paramount TV, highlighting key series commitments. The production arm’s first series, Minority Report, will debut shortly. A “formidable” slate of nine shows from the unit are ordered, with 12 more set up at networks and digital outlets, he said.

Discussing Paramount’s recently unveiled VOD experiment with AMC Entertainment, the CEO called it “a forward- looking solution that works for us, the theaters and the consumer.”

In conclusion, he said: “After a tough year, we believe Paramount is positioned to grow strongly next year and in the years to come, fueled both by a reinvigorated film business and our new high-growth TV production business.”




Sony Pictures was hit hard yet again last time when Pixels failed to impress the box office as the ghost Amy Pascal warned them and spooked the studio’s reputation and image. Sony CEO Tom Rothman has had enough of it after reaching tough waters last week. With the studio’s future hanging in the balance Jim, Rothman will need to deliver how many movies will Sony make in time to make up after a disastrous summer?





Jim Fish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman has set the course for the studio’s future through 2017, officially dating no fewer than 16 films.

They include the third and fourth installments in the Bad Boys franchises and a Jumanji reboot, which will hit theaters Dec. 25, 2016. Bad Boys 3 will open Feb. 17, 2017, while Bad Boys 4 will open in July 3, 2019 (That was the only one of the films to receive a date outside of 2016 and 2017).

Next year’s slate includes Jodie Foster’s Money Monster starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney (April 8); The Shallows (June 24); Paul Feig’s female-centered Ghostbusters (July 15), which is moving up one week; zombie film Patient Zero (Sept. 2); Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven, which is moving to Sept. 23; sequel Underworld 5 (Oct. 21); Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt (Dec. 21); and Jumanji.

The Dark Tower kicks off 2017 on Jan. 13, followed by Resident Evil 6 (Jan. 27); Bad Boys 3; Baby Driver (March 17); Barbie (June 2); Uncharted, which is moving to June 30; and The Lamb (Dec. 8)

These films join the previously announced projects already on the studio’s slate including the next Spider-Man film (July 28, 2017); The Equalizer 2 (Sept. 29, 2017); Dan Brown’s Inferno (Oct. 14, 2016); Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Nov. 11, 2016); and the animated Spider-Man film masterminded by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (July 20, 2018).



Rupert Murdoch has joined in the fray to move Ice Age 5: Collision Course away from Sony Pictures’ schedule to 2016 as well, as the shuffle scenario triumphs once again.




Checking the Penguins tally, 1,545 fans sign in as Team Skipper breathes a sigh of relief as MI:5 triumphs the box office yet again. Cruise has just one more movie to jump through as The Man From UNCLE makes a surprise plan of attack.





Teen Titans Go, Uncle Grandpa, Clarence, and We Bare Bears highlight new episodes this week as part of Cartoon Network’s Thursday night lineup. Also, look out for episodes of Pig, Goat, Banana, Cricket all this month as well as a new Thundermans Saturday night! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, make sure that they don’t steal your thunder!

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