Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One director Christopher McQuarrie addresses Barbie and Oppenheimer’s negative impact on his film’s box office. Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt for the seventh film in the long-running action franchise, which earned strong reviews from critics. Despite strong reviews, however, the latest sequel has struggled financially, with excitement around the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon ultimately eclipsing Hunt’s latest adventure.
Now, in a recent interview on the Empire Spoiler Specials podcast, McQuarrie addresses Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’s box office defeat at the hands of Barbie and Oppenheimer.
McQuarrie chooses not to focus on his own film’s financial shortcomings, but instead expresses his excitement for fellow filmmakers Greta Gerwig and Christopher Nolan and what the success of their movies means for cinema. Check out McQuarrie’s full comment below when asked about the “tsunami” that is Barbenheimer:
When it comes to movies, this year has been an interesting wake-up call for several big-budget action franchises. After disappointing performances from Fast X and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Mission: Impossible 7’s performance strongly suggests that audiences might be craving new things instead of additional installments in long-running franchises.
That being said, Mission: Impossible 7 has been a hit with those who saw it. Unlike Fast X and Indiana Jones 5, the new Cruise film hasn’t been really divisive in terms of its quality. Really, then, Mission: Impossible 7’s underperformance can seemingly mostly be boiled down to bad timing. The film was only able to play for less than 2 weeks in IMAX, a format that has traditionally been strong for the franchise, before Oppenheimer took over all the screens due to pre-existing agreements.
The lack of premium large format screens was undoubtedly a major blow, but excitement for both Barbie and Oppenheimer was also way higher than really anyone had anticipated. Both films have broken records and shot past projections. In hindsight, clearly, Paramount should have moved Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’s release date, and it may have enjoyed a much more profitable run.