Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible series and the Vin Diesel-led The Fast and the Furious franchise are two biggest and longest-running movie series ever. Even though director Justin Lin stepped down, Fast X, the tenth installment and the followup to 2021’s F9: The Fast Saga, is planned for an April 2023 release. Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One is officially a go (and not straight to streaming) and scheduled for a June 2023 theatrical release. The two franchises will battle for box office supremacy in the summer of 2023, but which series has the higher average haul at theaters? Let’s find out.
‘Mission: Impossible’ and ‘The Fast and the Furious’ share some things in common
For all their differences — The Fast franchise focuses on heists, muscle cars, and family relationships; Mission: Impossible covers international espionage — both series share some things in common.
First, both have a slew of series regulars outside of Cruise and Diesel.
Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson (six previous movies), Ludacris (five), Sung Kang (four), and Nathalie Emmanuel (three) have all acted in several The Fast and the Furious movies. They return for Fast X, as does Charlize Theron, who makes her third appearance as Cipher.
Ving Rhames (five previous films plus an uncredited appearance in Ghost Protocol), Simon Pegg (last four), and Rebecca Ferguson (two) show up in several Mission: Impossible movies.
Also, both franchises feature huge stunts. The Fast routinely flips cars, has actors jump from speeding vehicles, and famously had a supercar crash through three skyscrapers. And who can forget the stuntman Tom Cruise clinging to the side of an airplane as it takes off in Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation?
Finally, both franchises routinely earn massive box office hauls, but one typically performs a bit better.
‘The Fast and the Furious’ outperforms ‘Mission: Impossible’ at the box office
Judging by the longevity and the financial success of both franchises, it’s clear fans can’t get enough of the Fast and Mission: Impossible movies.
On aggregate, both franchises have earned billions of dollars at the worldwide box office. But in terms of per film average, the nine The Fast and the Furious movies (we’re not counting the Hobbs & Shaw spinoff) outperform the Mission: Impossible series:
The Fast and the Furious
- $5.84 billion worldwide box office (per Box Office Mojo)
- Nine films
- $648.8 million average
- $3.47 billion worldwide box office (per Box Office Mojo)
- Six films
- $578.8 million average
The Fast franchise takes the financial battle, but action movie fans are the real winners for having two thrilling series to entertain them for the better part of three decades.
The two franchises ‘mean’ business
We’re not going to turn this into a math lesson. Well, at least not a rigorous one.
By average and total box office, The Fast and the Furious movies fare much better than Mission: Impossible. By mean — the middle number in a numerical sequence — they’re nearly equal.
Mission: Impossible’s box office returns are steadier. It doesn’t have any billion-dollar entries to stack up against Furious 7 ($1.51 billion) and The Fate of the Furious ($1.23 billion). Yet its lowest-grossing entry — Mission: Impossible III with $398.4 million — is nearly two and a half times more than The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, which brings up the rear with $158.9 million.
Mission: Impossible’s mean figure at the box office is $614 million, which is not too far off from The Fast and the Furious’ $626 million