News & Opinion | July 31, 2018 11:01 am

Can “Mission Impossible” Ever Replace Tom Cruise?

"Fallout" had the best opening of the franchise.

tom cruise
Tom Cruise in "Mission:Impossible — Fallout" (YouTube)

Tom Cruise is making a comeback. After underwhelming receipts from American Made, The Mummy reboot and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Cruise’s latest movie, Mission:Impossible — Fallout, signals a return to form for the movie star, who needs to prove he is still profitable as he nears 60.

The newest installment in the Mission:Impossible franchise has the best opening for a series, racking in $153 million globally, including $61.5 million in North America and $92 million internationally. Before Fallout, Mission: Impossible II had the biggest debut at $57.8 million.

A franchise’s biggest stunt is being able to bank on the success of its leading man (or woman). A-listers like Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp used to be able to draw crowds on their names alone, but its trickier now. Series, including huge name like Star Wars and The Fast and the Furious, have to rely on an all-encompassing brand to entice moviegoers.

But Cruise and Mission:Impossible are one in the same, write Variety. It is nearly impossible to imagine the series continuing without him.

“Tom Cruise is Ethan Hunt and Ethan Hunt is Tom Cruise,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a box office analyst with comScore, to Variety. “Perhaps no other actor working today is so profoundly linked to a specific character and franchise. It’s impossible to imagine any other actor in this role.”