Tom Cruise's mission? Get the third installment of the "Mission: Impossible" series to the top of the box-office heap. While Cruise rose to the challenge, leading "Mission: Impossible III" to the #1 spot, the blockbuster didn't top the opening weekend take of the previous "Mission."
"M:i:III," which also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ving Rhames, earned more than $48 million, according to early estimates. In the action flick, Cruise reprises his role as spy Ethan Hunt — except this time, he's retired from active duty to teach new recruits. He's called back into action to go after super villain Owen Davian (Hoffman) (see [article id="1529660"]" 'Mission: Impossible III': Hunt Is On")[/article].
While the film pulled in solid first-week earnings, the $48 million take was less than what the film was expected to earn, and nearly $10 million shy of the opening-weekend take of "Mission: Impossible II."
"M:i:III" did earn more than enough to leave last week's #1, "RV," in its dust. The family film starring Robin Williams brought in $11.1 million its second weekend in theaters, slipping to #2. Williams plays a father who rents an RV and takes his brood (including a daughter played by singer/actress JoJo) on a road trip to promote some family togetherness in the comedy (see [article id="1529603"]"Robin Williams To 'RV' Co-Star JoJo: 'You The Man!' "[/article]).
The horror flick "An American Haunting" was the only other new release to crack the top five this week. The film, based on 1800s events in which a teenage girl and her family were believed to be targeted by a demon, bowed at #3 with more than $6.3 million (see [article id="1530284"]" 'American Haunting' Isn't Scared Of A Little Tom Cruise Movie"[/article]).
The cheerier "Stick It" slipped a spot from #3 to #4 with more than $5.5 million. The comedy centers on a teenage former gymnast who, after a series of brushes with the law, is made to join a gymnastics team to clean up her act (see [article id="1529438"]" 'Stick It' Cast Tumbles Into Gymnastics — Neon Leotards And All"[/article]).
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"Ice Age: The Meltdown," meanwhile, heated up a bit this week, climbing from #7 to #6. The animated family film about a group of animals who have to escape a quickly collapsing dam earned $4 million.
Rounding out the box-office top 10 are "Silent Hill," which tumbled from #4 to #7 with $3.9 million; "Scary Move 4," which fell from #5 to #8 with more than $3.7 million; "Hoot," which debuted at #9 with $3.4 million; and "Akeelah and the Bee," which dropped from #8 to #10 with $3.4 million.
Overall, ticket sales were up from the corresponding weekend last year.
Next week, look for "Just My Luck" and "Poseidon" to debut on the box-office top 10.
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