Box office stars, actors that can bring people to theaters simply because their name is on the poster, are a dying breed today. Tom Cruise or Adam Sandler can still bring a crowd to a feature film but they can’t guarantee a hit anymore, so this weekend should be pretty interesting with the two of them going at it.
Tom Cruise stars in Rock of Ages, an 80’s inspired musical by director Adam Shankman. Funny enough Shankman worked with Adam Sandler on The Wedding Singer and Bedtime Stories, but his current film is more Hairspray (again directed by Shankman) than either of those. Now the latter, also a musical, opened with $27.5 million back in 2007 so it’s safe to assume Warner Bros are expecting a similar result from Rock of Ages. With inflation and the added benefit of one Tom Cruise (although he is hardly the only big name, full cast here), I think this film should grab about $28-29 million, maybe a bit more.
The Adam Sandler film is called That’s My Boy and, surprisingly, it’s an R-rated comedy, a rare sight coming from him. The last R-rated comedy Adam Sandler did was Funny People and those that saw it can confirm it wasn’t actually much of a comedy. That opened with $22.6 million in 2009, That’s My Boy might perform better since it looks considerably more entertaining than Funny People. $25 million would be a good start for this film.
Unfortunately for both Mr. Cruise and Mr. Sandler, neither of them will claim the top spot, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted has it already booked in advance. The rather competent animated threequel will be looking at about $35 million this weekend, more than enough for #1. So Tom Cruise has to settle for 2nd while Adam Sandler has 3rd.
In 4th there can’t be anything else other than Prometheus, the R-rated return to sci-fi horror of director Ridley Scott. My crystal ball says $24 million here.
Snow White and the Huntsman should round out the top 5 with $12 million or so.
Next week Disney and Pixar show how Brave they are, Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) gives history a nice supernatural twist in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, while Steve Carell and Keira Knightley look for someone in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.