Sandler Strong, Cruise Not Against Toy Story 3
By John Hamann
June 27, 2010
Knight and Day wasn't a huge critical success, but wasn't a train wreck either. The Cruise/Diaz spectacle was 52% fresh at RottenTomatoes, not bad for a summer action flick. The marketing was good up until about a week ago, but as BOP's Reagen Sulewski said mid-week, it lost its way when Fox decided to sell this one as a romantic actioner, instead of sticking with the original comic formula. However, with the amount of marketing this one had – good or bad - people knew it was opening.
That, somewhat unfortunately, leads us back to Tom Cruise. Fighting public perception for the last couple of years, Cruise has become a bit of a joke, and made the good choice to laugh at himself via the Les Grossman character. Obviously, the Grossman experiment didn't bring folks into Knight and Day, as it opens lower than Valkyrie, which debuted over Christmas in 2008 to $21 million. Does Tom Cruise deserve this? I don't think so. He hasn't had a single movie (except Lions for Lambs) open below $20 million since Jerry Maguire back in 1996. Cruise has become more of an overseas star (like Russell Crowe – bad image but big box office), which is making his films continue to work. Even the $35 million Lions for Lambs follows this example, as it grossed an extremely poor $15 million domestically, but still found another $50 million overseas, which made that film a financial success. Knight and Day, with that huge $120 million production budget, will still be a win for Fox, but it won't come on this side of the ocean. I don't know how Cruise loses the stigma he currently carries, but there is still money to be made off his back.
Fourth goes to The Karate Kid, as Sony's profits off this one continue to multiply. The Karate Kid earned another $15.4 million this weekend, and was off 48% from the previous frame. The Smith family picture cost Sony only $40 million to produce, and had managed three times that amount by Thursday, its 14th day of release. The Karate Kid now looks likely to finish as a $175 million picture (or more), and that's just domestically. I'm expecting even a bigger number when this sees wider release overseas as the summer progresses. So far, the Jaden Smith/Jackie Chan vehicle has earned $135.6 million.
Fifth is The A-Team, another 20th Century Fox disappointment. In its third weekend, The A-Team earned $6 million, which amounts to a bigger plunge – 58% - than it saw last weekend, when it was following its opening frame. The A-Team cost Fox $110 million to make, and has a current gross so far of $62.8 million. It's looking like it will finish with about $75 million on the domestic side, but even more than that will come from overseas.
Get Him To The Greek takes a tumble this weekend, likely due to the arrival of fellow comedy Grown Ups. Greek earned $3 million in its fourth frame, and falls a nasty 51%. The $40 million Universal release has now earned $54.5 million, but will finish very near Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which ended with $63 million.