Back in 2006 the future for the Mission: Impossible franchise didn't look great. Despite solid reviews from critics, Mission: Impossible III underperformed at the box office, at least partially due to the rantings and odd behavior of star Tom Cruise. Still, it did make enough internationally to warrant a sequel, and thank god that it did. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, released last December, turned out to be one of the best blockbusters of 2011, earning acclaim from professionals and audiences alike. From the business side, the movie was a booming hit, domestically becoming the second highest grossing M:I movie (with $208 million raked in) and far-and-away the most successful internationally (pulling in $679.6 million vs. Mission: Impossible II's $546.4 million). Thanks to the film's incredible success the assumption at large for the past few months is that we would be getting another sequel. This has been confirmed.

Viacom (the company that owns Paramount Pictures) recently held their annual shareholder meeting and while CEO Philippe Dauman was on the stage, according to THR, he was asked if there were any plans to create another sequel in the espionage franchise. His answer was short but emphatic: "Oh, yes." In addition to being the biggest worldwide hit for the Mission: Impossible franchise, Ghost Protocol is also the most successful Tom Cruise film of all time, having dethroned Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds - which made $591.7 million globally.

I would love to see a sequel to Ghost Protocol (or Ghotocol as we call it around the Cinema Blend), but there is one important element that I pray they keep: continuity. While the first three movies were pretty haphazard when it came to linking stories together, the most recent film actually made an effort to create a bigger world for Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Missions Force. That and they should bring back Brad Bird to direct. That would be most excellent as well.

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