The seventh installment of the 'Mission Impossible' franchise was No. 1 at North American box offices this weekend, Sunday estimates showed, scaring off horror flick "Insidious: The Red Door" from last weekend's top spot.

Paramount's "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One," the latest in the long-running series starring Tom Cruise, brought in $52.6 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported.

David A. Gross, of Franchise Entertainment Research, called the opening "roughly average for an action thriller at this point in its series."

"Foreign markets are where action movies excel, and the overseas openings are strong, with the exception of China, which is good-not-great," Gross added.

Coming in at second place this weekend was "Sound of Freedom," a controversial action thriller from Santa Fe Films and Angel Studios.

Jim Caviezel stars in a story based on the life of former US government agent Tim Ballard, who says he has rescued more than 100 children from Colombian sex traffickers. The film has found an audience among Christian conservatives.

Critics say "Sound" plays into wild QAnon conspiracy theories about a pedophilic international cabal that kidnaps children and harvests their blood.

Commentators on the conservative broadcaster Fox News, meanwhile, have pushed back against detractors among the "liberal media."

Angel Studios denies that its film warps the truth, though Caviezel and Ballard have both embraced some extreme QAnon claims.

Despite the controversy, or perhaps because of it, the film brought in $27 million over the weekend, bringing its total up to $85 million so far.

"Insidious: The Red Door," from Sony, brought in $13 million, down to third place in theaters after its $33 million opening last weekend.

"Insidious," the fifth installment in the titular horror series, was followed by another franchise sequel, Disney's "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny."

This "Indy" episode, likely the last, again stars Harrison Ford as a whip-cracking archeologist, and took in $12 million.

In fifth was Disney/Pixar's "Elemental," an animated immigrant fable that brought in $8.7 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

  • "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" ($6 million)
  • "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" ($3.4 million)
  • "No Hard Feelings" (3.3 million)
  • "Joy Ride" (2.57 million)
  • The Little Mermaid" ($2.35 million)