LOS ANGELES — After six movies, 22 years, countless bruises and a broken ankle, Tom Cruise’s death-defying “Mission: Impossible” stunts continue to pay off at the box office.

“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” easily took the No. 1 spot on the domestic charts this weekend. Paramount Pictures estimates that it earned $61.5 million from 4,386 North American theaters.

Not accounting for inflation, it’s a best for the long-running franchise, which has grossed $2.8 billion worldwide, and one of Cruise’s biggest too (just shy of “War of the Worlds” $64.9 million debut in 2005). Internationally, the film earned $92 million from 36 markets which is also a franchise best.

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, “Fallout” has scored some of the best reviews in the series and has been in the news cycle for almost a year. Talk about the film started early, in August of 2017, when Cruise broke his ankle performing a stunt in London with video to prove it.

Second place went to “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” which fell 57 percent in its second weekend in theaters, to earn $15 million.

Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer 2” slid to third with $14 million in weekend two, and “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” took fourth with $12.3 million. The animated “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies,” landed in fifth place.

– From news service reports

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