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Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” Wins 2nd Straight Box Office Crown

Proves audiences will accept more “Missions” as long as Cruise is risking his life.

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Here’s to hoping Tom Cruise continues to choose to accept those missions.

Paramount Pictures sure will.

Cruise’s newest installment of his spy franchise, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, dominated at the box office for the second straight weekend, taking the top spot with $35 million. That’s just a modest drop of just 42.8 percent from its $61.2 million debut last weekend — not bad for a movie released at the end of the busy summer popcorn movie season.

And it’s proof that audiences aren’t tired of seeing Cruise risk his life in another batch of over-the-top stunts.

“What a difference a year makes, we go from how disappointing The Mummy at the box office to was to what a big hit Mission: Impossible – Fallout is,” Paul Dergarbedian, senior box office analyst for ComScore, told RealClearLife.

“Ordinarily a $65 million isn’t considered a blockbuster debut, but for a franchise that’s two decades old and in its sixth (installment), it’s a huge win.”

That did prove an oh, bother to Disney, the studio behind the live-action/CGI hybrid Winnie the Pooh film, Christopher Robin. The family friendly flick starring Ewan McGregor finished in second place with $25 million.

It’s also a huge win considering the Mission: Impossible movies are a throwback to the type of stunt-driven action movies that were in vogue before special effects allowed super hero movies to be able to leap tall box office records in a single bound. (For all the bragging rights earned by Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Avengers: Infinity War opened with $257.7 million in late April.)

Cruise has never headlined a $100 million opening, but he is still a consistent box office superstar — as long as he’s cranking out Mission: Impossible movies.  Playing Ethan Hunt is the closest Cruise has come to playing a superhero — although he had been rumored to be circling the title role in Iron Man long before Robert Downey Jr. landed in the armor.

But it’s unclear how long even the 56-year-old Cruise can keep running and jumping off London rooftops after six installments. Even Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger ultimately had make concessions to age.

Would Cruise accept a mission where he’s the mentor handing off to a millennial macho-man? Would Paramount? Would movie-goers? In recent years, audiences have shown little appetite to see him parachute into smaller dramas instead of literally sky-diving in an action sequence.

“Tom Cruise still looks like he’s 40,” said Dergarabedian. “He can keep accepting missions as long as he wants to and as long  as the audience accepts him in the role. He does not look, act or present his age. He’s not bound by the normal rules of mother nature.”