With an estimated $48.025 million in its till, M:I3 fell below industry expectations and nearly $10 million below the franchise's previous installment, reports the Associated Press.
Traditionally tight-lipped about his private life, Cruise suddenly shifted gears last year and starting posing for paparazzi while kissing his then-girlfriend Katie Holmes. Other public displays included jumping up and down on Oprah Winfrey’s couch while professing his love for Holmes and also spouting his Scientology beliefs on the Today show.
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Conversely, says Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box-office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations: "There's a lot to be said for how a star's public persona can affect a movie's box office. Expectations were really high for this film. I think it's a good number, but people were obviously expecting better numbers."
The numbers that were expected were in keeping with those delivered by Mission: Impossible II, which debuted with $57.8 million from Friday to Sunday over 2000's Memorial Day weekend, and Cruise's War of the Worlds, which premiered with $64.9 million from Friday to Sunday over Fourth of July weekend last year.
Along with a potential Cruise backlash, the new movie (which earned generally favorable reviews) may have suffered because of the long six-year gap since the last Mission: Impossible, says AP.