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]).
The dramatic "United 93" bowed at #2 last week amidst a sea of controversy. This week, the film that centers on the passengers of United flight 93 who fought back against terrorists that took over their plane on September 11, 2001 (see [article id="1529291"]" 'United 93' Director Goes For Realism, Vows Not To Mythologize "[/article]), slipped three notches to #5 with more than $5.2 million.
"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.
Check out [article id="1488131"]movies.MTV.com[/article] for Hollywood news, photos, reviews, interviews and more.
Want trailers? Visit Movies on MTV Overdrive for the newest, scariest and funniest coming attractions anywhere.