Box office: 'Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation' cruising to $45m-plus U.S. debut

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5 Reasons to See Mission:Impossible-Rogue Nation

Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible -; Rogue Nation is off to a pleasing start at the North American box office, where it is pacing to gross $18 million-plus for the day for a weekend debut in the $45 million-plus range, if not north of $47 million.

Friday's take includes $4 million in preshow screenings.

There's been plenty of speculation as to how the big-budget film, costing Paramount and Skydance Productions $150 million to make, will fare in the U.S. At this rate, Rogue Nation could match the debut of Mission: Impossible III and exceed the opening of the last installment, Mission: Impossible -; Ghost Protocol, although a comparison to the latter is tough because it played its first weekend in Imax runs.

The critically acclaimed film is the fifth installment in the action franchise and is playing in 3,956 North American theaters. It will easily win the weekend, and is expected to be even bigger overseas, where it rolls out in numerous markets (Cruise remains a far bigger star internationally). The Mission: Impossible movies have never opened to huge numbers, outside of the second film, which took in $70.8 million over the long Memorial Day weekend in 2000, including $57 million for the weekend itself.

Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the new Paramount and Skydance film sees Hunt and his team attempting to prove the existence of (and then stop) the Syndicate, an international criminal consortium. Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson also star.

Ghost Protocol, directed by Brad Bird, revitalized the spy-action franchise, earning $694.7 million globally, a series best. That included an international total of $485.3 million.

The weekend's other new wide player, Vacation, is doing less business than expected after opening midweek. The comedy, garnering poor reviews, earned $6.2 million on Wednesday and Thursday, and is tipped to gross $22 million for the five days, including roughly $16 million for the Friday-Sunday frame.

New Line spent a modest $30 million to make the reboot, starring Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth.

The movie is a sequel of sorts to the first National Lampoon's Vacation, directed by Harold Ramis, and picks up as Rusty Griswold (Helms), now grown, takes his own family on a vacation. Applegate plays Griswold's wife, while Mann will portray Audrey Griswold, Rusty's sister. Hemsworth will play Audrey's husband, an up-and-coming anchorman named Stone Crandall. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo make cameos.

Click through for photos of Tom Cruise's stunt moments:

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Box office: 'Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation' cruising to $45m-plus U.S. debut
SEVILLE, SPAIN - JUNE 16: Actor Tom Cruise rides a motorcycle for the official 'Knight and Day' movie stunt exhibition prior the world premier tomorrow night, next to Seville's cathedral on June 16, 2010 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Fernando Camino/Getty Images)
SEVILLE, SPAIN - JUNE 16: Actor Tom Cruise attends the official 'Knight and Day' movie stunt exhibition prior the world premier tomorrow night, next to Seville's cathedral on June 16, 2010 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Fernando Camino/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - NOVEMBER 09: In this handout photo provided by Warner Brothers Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures, Tom Cruise plays Lieutenant Colonel Bill Cage, a soldier who replays his last day while trying to fight aliens, in director Doug Liman's 'All You Need Is Kill'. The film is set to premiere on March 14, 2014. (Photo by David James/Warner Brothers Pictures via Getty Images)
SEVILLE, SPAIN - JUNE 16: Actor Tom Cruise attends the official 'Knight and Day' movie stunt exhibition prior the world premier tomorrow night, next to Seville's cathedral on June 16, 2010 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Fernando Camino/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 30: (CHINA OUT) A stunt man for Tom Cruise drives during the filming of Mission Impossible III at Pudong District on November 30, 2005 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)
American actor Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, escaping through the collapsing aquarium in a restaurant, in a scene from the film 'Mission: Impossible', 1996. (Photo by Murray Close/Getty Images)
American actor Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, escaping through the collapsing aquarium in a restaurant, in a scene from the film 'Mission: Impossible', 1996. (Photo by Murray Close/Getty Images)
American actor Tom Cruise perches on a helicopter skid against a bluescreen, whilst filming a scene for the movie 'Mission: Impossible' at Pinewood Studios, London, 1995. (Photo by Murray Close/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O’BRIEN -- Episode 42 -- Air Date 08/04/2009 -- Pictured: Wax Tom Cruise and Fonzi statues mid flight after being shot from a cannon on August 4, 2009 -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank
American actor Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, escaping through the collapsing aquarium in a restaurant, in a scene from the film 'Mission: Impossible', 1996. (Photo by Murray Close/Getty Images)
US actor Tom Cruise drives a car, fitted with cameras, during the filming of a scene in the movie 'Mission Impossible 5' on September 25, 2014, in the Kasbah of the Udayas near the Moroccan capital Rabat. The filming in Morocco of Hollywood action movie 'Mission Impossible 5' is to close off a section of a main highway for two weeks, the highways authority and local media said. AFP PHOTO / FADEL SENNA (Photo credit should read FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)
SEVILLE, SPAIN - JUNE 16: Actor Tom Cruise rides a motorcycle for the official 'Knight and Day' movie stunt exhibition prior the world premier tomorrow night, next to Seville's cathedral on June 16, 2010 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Fernando Camino/Getty Images)
US actor Tom Cruise drives during the filming of a scene in the movie 'Mission Impossible 5' on September 25, 2014, in the Kasbah of the Udayas near the Moroccan capital Rabat. The filming in Morocco of Hollywood action movie 'Mission Impossible 5' is to close off a section of a main highway for two weeks, the highways authority and local media said. AFP PHOTO / FADEL SENNA (Photo credit should read FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA - AUGUST 28: Rebecca Ferguson (L) and Tom Cruise are seen on the set of 'Mission: Impossible 5' on the roof of the opera house August 28, 2014 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Kai Danneberg/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Tom Cruise is sighted flying in and RAF helicopter on set for the movie 'All You Need Is Kill' being filmed in Trafalgar Square on November 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Simon James/FilmMagic)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA - AUGUST 28: Tom Cruise is seen on the set of 'Mission: Impossible 5' on the roof of the opera house August 28, 2014 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Kai Danneberg/GC Images)
U.S. actor Tom Cruise poses to photographers during a photocall for his new film 'Edge of Tomorrow' in Rome, Tuesday, May 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Isabella Bonotto)
Picture Shows: Tom Cruise December 01, 2014 Tom Cruise casually walks through Piccadilly Circus while filming an impromptu scene for Mission Impossible 5. The scene was filmed in Central London with no road closures or any warning, members of the public hardly noticed the Hollywood A Lister as he strolled casually through the landmark and dodged the traffic. The crew used cameras placed in the windows of the buildings and on rooftops to capture the moment. Tom then heads to a phonebox outside The Windmill club to make a call. Exclusive - All Round Worldwide Rights Pictures by : FameFlynet UK � 2014 Tel : +44 (0)20 3551 5049 Email : info@fameflynet.uk.com
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 02: Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are seen on the film set of the movie 'All You Need Is Kill' on February 02, 2013 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by JJ/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Tom Cruise (Rear) is sighted flying in and RAF helicopter on set for the movie 'All You Need Is Kill' being filmed in Trafalgar Square on November 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Simon James/FilmMagic)
Tom Cruise showing his tricks as a bartender in a scene from the film 'Cocktail', 1988. (Photo by Touchstone Pictures/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Tom Cruise is sighted flying in and RAF helicopter on set for the movie 'All You Need Is Kill' being filmed in Trafalgar Square on November 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Simon James/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12: Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko are seen on the set of'Oblivion' at Streets of Manhattan on June 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12: Tom Cruise is seen on the set of'Oblivion' at Streets of Manhattan on June 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic)
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