‘Impossible’ tops Korean, American box offices

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‘Impossible’ tops Korean, American box offices

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Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, “Mission: Impossible ? Rogue Nation,” the fifth installment of the 20-year-old franchise which stars Tom Cruise as the unforgettable Ethan Hunt, topped both the Korean and North American box offices. Provided by Lotte Entertainment

Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible ? Rogue Nation” hit it big both in North American and Korean movie theaters.

The fifth installment in the nearly 20-year-old film series has earned $56 million at home, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

It is the second-highest opening for a “Mission” film since “Mission: Impossible II” took in $57.8 million over Memorial Day weekend in 2000. Rentrak’s senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said Cruise is to credit for making these films one of the longest-running viable franchises on the market.

“He created a new Tom Cruise in the minds of audiences. He came off as very approachable, funny, he did the lip synching with Jimmy Fallon. This is the playbook on how a star - who is also a producer on the movie - gets the word out about his movie,” he said. “He’s a marketing machine.”

The Paramount and Skydance Productions film from writer-director Christopher McQuarrie cost a reported $150 million to produce and should have no problem making up its budget, especially with overseas earnings.

Besides generating some of the best reviews in the series, “Rogue Nation” was bumped up on the release schedule from Christmas to summer somewhat last-minute - even though they were still shooting the movie well into the spring.

Megan Colligan, Paramount’s president of worldwide distribution and marketing, said that made advance marketing a challenge.

“We had to be precise in what we were doing and take some chances and live a little outside the box. We knew how good the movie was,” she said.

Boosted by Cruise’s three-day promotion schedule in Korea last week, accompanied by director McQuarrie, “Rogue Nation,” opened with nearly two million viewers in Korea, shoving aside Choi Dong-hoon’s historical action blockbuster “Assassination.”

From 1,202 screens nationwide, the film grossed 16.1 billion won ($13.8 million), according to the Korean Film Council on Monday. The long-standing franchise definitely had cross-generational appeal. According to the CGV Research Center, people in their 30s accounted for 34.9 percent of the audience, which was the largest portion, while those in their 40s took up 30.9 percent. Twenty-somethings accounted for 30.6 percent of the audience.

Meanwhile, “Assassination,” stepped down to No. 2, attracting 1.5 million viewers over the weekend. After two weeks in Korean theaters, the film attracted 6.6 million moviegoers, making 51 billion won.

Animated films were another strong player in the domestic box office.

Headed by Universal’s “Minions” in third place, which opened with 657,644 viewers, Pixar’s “Inside Out” and Japanese animated feature “Yokai Watch: Tanjo no Himitsu da Nyan” took fourth and fifth.

The Korean animated film “You Are So Yummy ? Happy To Be With You,” an adventure story about a dinosaur family, opened in No. 6, with 18,353 viewers.


BY JIN EUN-SOO, AP [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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