Tom Cruise’s newest Mission: Impossible movie debuted this weekend with $56 million in U.S. ticket sales, easily making it the No. 1 film, according to Box Office Mojo.
There was another star on screen, too: the German automaker BMW. The Hollywood Reporter says a fleet of BMW vehicles — sedans, SUVs and motorcycles — “chase, crash and go flying through the air” in Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.
It’s the second time BMW has teamed up with the MI franchise. It was also the car and technical support supplier for MI: Ghost Protocol.
Interestingly, BMW doesn’t get its logo displayed prominently on screen, nor do Cruise or any of his co-stars say “BMW” during the film.
But, if you know what a BMW looks like, you’ll recognize the newest version of the 7-series sedan. Cruise also drives an M3 in a heart-pounding chase scene in which the car motors backwards and down a staircase.
BMW is just one of a number of car companies that are linked with a blockbuster franchise. Of course, the most famous is the relationship between Aston Martin and the James Bond films.
Audi has partnered with Marvel on the Avengers and Iron Man movies, while Lamborghini has been driven by Bruce Wayne in recent Batman films.
Do movie characters help boost auto sales? Well, the Reporter notes that in December 2011, with Ghost Protocol in wide release and No. 1 at the North American box office, BMW fended off Mercedes for the first time, and became the best-selling luxury brand in the U.S.
Who knows, maybe Tom Cruise sold some cars.