After 27 years and counting, Paramount’s Mission: Impossible action franchise has far surpassed CBS’s original 1966-73 television show in public fame.
The stunts rank among the most iconic in modern movie history: Tom Cruise’s protagonist Ethan Hunt dangling by wires in the first film, scaling the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in the fourth, hanging onto the side of an airplane several thousand feet in the air for the fifth, skydiving in a “HALO jump” [high-altitude low-open parachute] in the sixth.
Before Wednesday’s release of seventh installment Dead Reckoning – Part One, here’s a recap of the financials for the six prior films.
Mission: Impossible (1996)
Release Date: Wednesday, May 22, 1996
Domestic Opening Weekend: $45.4M
Domestic Total / Market Share: $180.9M (39%)
Overseas Total / Market Share: $276.7M (61%)
Global Total: $457.6M
Domestic Franchise Rank: #5
Global Franchise Rank: #5
Domestic 1996 Rank: #3
Global 1996 Rank: #3
Based on the hit television series, this opening installment directed by Brian DePalma set the template with many now-iconic components of the franchise: the pull-off facial disguises, the catchphrase “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds,” Ving Rhames as tech genius assistant Luther.
At the box office, the film came in third place for the year in both the domestic and global rankings, in both cases behind Independence Day and Twister.
Mission: Impossible II (2000)
Release Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2000
Domestic Opening Weekend: $57.8M
Domestic Total / Market Share: $215.4M (39%)
Overseas Total / Market Share: $334.1M (61%)
Global Total: $549.5M
Domestic Franchise Rank: #2
Global Franchise Rank: #4
Domestic 2000 Rank: #3
Global 2000 Rank: #1
Before the likes of Top Gun: Maverick and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, this marked the first sequel of Cruise’s career. Clearly he made the right decision, as the follow-up ranked as the top film globally of the entire year, the only Mission installment to achieve the feat. Domestically it ranked third, behind How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Cast Away.
Costarring Anthony Hopkins as the mission commander, John Woo (Face/Off) directed the project. Cruise even insisted that the production use a real knife during a climactic fight scene, rather than a prop.
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Release Date: Friday, May 5, 2006
Domestic Opening Weekend: $47.7M
Domestic Total / Market Share: $133.5M (33%)
Overseas Total / Market Share: $265.8M (67%)
Global Total: $399.3M
Domestic Franchise Rank: #6
Global Franchise Rank: #6
Domestic 2006 Rank: #14
Global 2006 Rank: #8
J.J. Abrams made his feature film directorial debut, previously serving as executive producer for ABC’s television shows Alias and Lost, though he would go on to helm two Star Wars and two Star Trek movies. This third Mission installment also costarred Philip Seymour Hoffman as the franchise’s most memorable villain, Laurence Fishburne as the agency director and Simon Pegg as tech expert Benji Tunn, who would appear in every subsequent installment.
Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (2011)
Release Date: Friday, December 16, 2011
Domestic Opening Weekend: $12.7M in limited release, $29.5M wide
Domestic Total / Market Share: $209.3M (30%)
Overseas Total / Market Share: $485.3M (70%)
Global Total: $694.7M
Domestic Franchise Rank: #3
Global Franchise Rank: #2
Domestic 2011 Rank: #7
Global 2011 Rank: #5
The series returned with a December release date, marking the only installment to shun a summer debut. It also marked the only installment not to debut wide, starting in a limited 465 theaters before expanding wide on its sophomore frame.
As a result, it’s the only franchise installment not to debut atop the weekend box office. In fact, it debuted in third, behind both Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. Yet with strong legs, it finished above both Shadows and Chipwrecked in the end.
Brad Bird made his live-action directorial debut, after previously directing Pixar’s animated The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Jeremy Renner costarred as an intelligence agent.
Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation (2015)
Release Date: Friday, July 31, 2015
Domestic Opening Weekend: $55.5M
Domestic Total / Market Share: $195.0M (28%)
Overseas Total / Market Share: $493.8M (72%)
Global Total: $688.8M
Domestic Franchise Rank: #4
Global Franchise Rank: #3
Domestic 2015 Rank: #11
Global 2015 Rank: #8
Returning to a summer release date once again, this installment starts with Ethan Hunt and his team disbanded as a government espionage agency. Christopher McQuarrie directed, after previously directing Cruise in 2012’s Jack Reacher, and has stayed with the Mission franchise ever since. Alec Baldwin also costarred as the director of the CIA.
Mission: Impossible — Fallout (2018)
Release Date: Friday, July 27, 2018
Domestic Opening Weekend: $61.2M
Domestic Total / Market Share: $220.1M (28%)
Overseas Total / Market Share: $566.4M (72%)
Global Total: $786.6M
Domestic Franchise Rank: #1
Global Franchise Rank: #1
Domestic 2018 Rank: #8
Global 2018 Rank: also #8
Often cited as the best installment to date, the financials certainly reflected that view, ranking as the top film to date both domestically and globally. Costarring Henry Cavill, Vanessa Kirby, and Angela Bassett, this installment finished the year in eighth place both domestically and globally.
Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One (2023)
With a trailer playing in cinemas for a full year and two and months, ever since May 2022’s Maverick, hype has been building around this seventh installment for a long time.
Boxoffice PRO‘s most recent forecast projects it will earn the franchise’s highest opening weekend to date. Whether it earns the franchise’s highest final total depends on word of mouth, but early reviews are positive, suggesting the odds are good.
A direct sequel and eighth overall installment, Dead Reckoning Part Two, is slated for release on June 28, 2024.