Cruise, Sandler Flop at Weekend Box Office
By John Hamann
June 17, 2012
Finally in third we get one of our openers, Rock of Ages, the musical that doesn't have the fun nostalgia look that Hairspray did in 2007 when it opened to $27.5 million. Despite starring Tom Cruise, Rock of Ages could not pique North American interests, and it stumbled to a $15.1 million opening. Out to a very wide 3,470 locations, Rock of Ages had a sad-sack venue average of $4,340. With a budget of $75 million, and an opening like this, Rock of Ages and New Line (now a division of Warner Bros.), are in serious trouble. The reviews for Rock of Ages don't support a long run through summer, and even with some decent holds, it will struggle to earn $40 million.
Rock of Ages is directed by Adam Shankman, whose only good film was Hairspray back in 2007. Shankman is one of my most hated directors, as this guy served up gems like The Wedding Planner, Bringing Down the House, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Premonition, and The Last Song – just to name a few. Studios love this guy, as he has a tendency to turn crap into gold (Bringing Down the House earned $133 million – I dare you to rent it). Could that theory apply to a film like Rock of Ages? I don't think so – no one wants to relive the music of the '80s yet. I was a teenager in that decade, and have no urge to hear Catherine Zeta Jones belt out Hit Me With Your Best Shot – ever. Surprisingly, Tom Cruise won't wear this turd. If there is positive word coming out of this film, it's for Cruise as Stacee Jaxx, but Almost Famous this one isn't.
Snow White and the Huntsmen is fourth, as the Chris Hemsworth/Charlize Theron flick tries to pick itself up after a 59% drop last weekend. In its third frame, Snow White earned $13.8 million, which improves the drop to 40% and will make the folks at Universal feel a little more comfortable this weekend. The $170 million release will not earn that amount back domestically; however, international audiences should pick up the slack and make this one a winner. Currently, Snow White and the Huntsman has earned $122.6 million domestically, and is approaching $100 million in overseas grosses.
Fifth goes to That's My Boy, as Adam Sandler tries to leave the PG-13 Sandler behind and embrace the crass R-Rated version. Obviously, the experiment failed, as Sandler has his lowest opening weekend rank since the 2007 Sandler drama, Reign Over Me, which opened in eighth spot at $7.5 million. With That's My Boy, Sandler can only find $13 million in opening weekend dollars, his lowest live-action, above the title opening since Bulletproof in 1996, which opened to $6 million. The difference between films like Reign Over Me and Bulletproof is budget. For example, Reign Over Me cost $20 million to make, where That's My Boy cost Sony $70 million to make. Sandler is a force overseas, which will save Sony from suffering a HUGE loss, but it's time for the used-to-be-funny Sandler to stop, fire his agent, and review his acting choices. That's My Boy comes on the heels of Jack and Jill, the low point of the actor's career, and I will hope some kind of quality – even Happy Gilmore quality – can come back to his movies.