Latest Mission: Impossible breaks UAE box office records

Tom Cruise greets fans on the red carpet at Dubai International Film Festival

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, which shot its pivotal scenes at the Burj Khalifa and made its world premiere in Dubai, has notched up the UAE’s biggest opening weekend numbers.

The action flick was more than 30 percent in front of the previous record-holder, Fast and Furious 5, promoters behind the Tom Cruise blockbuster told Arabian Business.

 “It broke all records as opening weekend with a total admission of 217,000,” said Jean Ramia, CEO of distributors Gulf Film.

The film opened across UAE cinemas on Dec 15, with a guaranteed pull for local residents, thanks to dramatic scenes that show starring actor Cruise scaling the outside of the 828m Burj Khalifa.

Speaking about his scenes on the world’s tallest tower, Cruise told reporters in Dubai this month: “I trained for months so I could practice the scenes at the Burj Khalifa. The only thing I was afraid of was falling!”

"It's one thing seeing it and another thing trying to accomplish that... The first moment, you know I have one little pick here and one little rope. I remember just being there saying 'this is a moment of truth'," he said.

"I had to figure out how to fly. I had to figure out how to use my feet as a rudder because you have crosswinds up there. It took a while to work out how not to come slamming into the building head first.”

Cruise and his 450-strong crew shot key scenes using local hotel Jumeirah Zabeel Saray as the backdrop. Some 250 extras were involved in the shoot.

The film made its world debut at the Dubai International Film Festival on Dec 7, with a dramatic red carpet appearance by Cruise in front of hundreds of fans and media.

The Hollywood actor, who was joined by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, spent more than an hour on the red carpet, greeting fans and signing autographs.

In the US, MI:4  faced strong competition at the box office from other popular sequels opening last weekend and debuted at number three. Mission: Impossible IV’s box office total on Friday was $4,110,000, but the film had a limited release.

Leader ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ grossed $14,700,000 from 3,703 screens, an average of $3,970, while second-placed ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked’ earned $6,800,000 from 3,723 screens, an average of $1,826.

By comparison, the latest Mission: Impossible earned an average of $9,671 from just 425 screens. The strong showing is due to the large number IMAX screens, where tickets are more expensive, and the fact that the film contains a teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, the forthcoming Batman sequel.

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