Multiplexes are banking on legendary $tatu$ this weekend as Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler bring their enormous box
office swagger front and center stage.
Cruise will jam in Warner’s musical “Rock
of Ages,” set to rock 3,450 arenas, while Sony will spew Sandler’s first true
R-rated comedy into 3,030 sites as he teams up with his SNL doppelganger Andy
Samberg in “That’s My Boy.” Both flicks should debut to solid numbers, but to
be the best you’ve got to put on a show bigger than the greatest one on earth
right now: “Madagascar 3.”
Having put on a show-stopping $60
million performance last weekend and amassing over $180 million worldwide in
about one week’s time, Paramount is eyeing the first repeat at #1 since “The
Avengers” threepeat. If DreamWorks’ toon follows the trajectory of
its predecessors, it should see a drop of around 42% and haul in another $35
million. That would mean either “Rock of Ages” or “That’s My Boy” would have to
over-perform to bring down the big top.
Going big like 80’s hair-dos is Adam
Shankman’s “Rock of Ages,” which looks like the real deal, and should match the
recent summer musical success of “Mamma Mia” and “Hairspray” both of which opened
with $27 million. Don’t be surprised to see this inch close to $30 million
though, as the 80’s are so totally, like, retro right now, and Cruise, is well,
a national treasure.
Say what you will about headliners Julianne
Hough and newcomer Diego Boneta—who have zero chemistry, btw—but even their unsteady
performances can’t stop this 80’s revival. Boneta, who apparently was a child singing
star in Mexico City, actually looks more at home as a Boy Band buffoon than a heart-and-soul
rocker. Despite the kind words from Shankman, this certainly isn’t a
star-making performance like, say, John Travolta in “Grease.” Not even close. Travolta
had more charisma in his pinky (the one on his hand) than Boneta’s whole body.
You just can’t fake the funk, ask Vanilla Ice.
No matter, because neither Boneta nor
Hough can hold a candle (or a Zippo) to Cruise’s gyrating and mystifying
performance as rock god, Stacee Jaxx. Yes, the heartthrob staple of the 80’s is
back to reinvent them. He gives a master class here on how to completely invest
in a character; every time he is on screen, he absolutely OWNS it, and really
is a rockstar. The rest of the supporting cast is great, too, including Paul
Giamatti, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, and
Russell Brand…it’s just a shame the leads don’t live up to the billing of the
surrounding talent. “Rock” could have been something for the ages if they did. Critics
are currently on the fence, giving it a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes.
While Sandler may be the critic’s
whipping boy, he usually owns summer so if you’re expecting anything less than
$25+ million, you’re probably one of those that never leaves the house without
your canteen. The R-rating might actually help “That’s my Boy” as Sandler
finally won’t have to censor his crude comedy or dumb-down his percentage of
dick jokes per capita. In the immortal words of Rob Schneider: “You can doooooo
In fact, this is The Sandman, for the
first time in his career, really going after “The Hangover” crowd. Combined
with costar Samberg’s younger-skewing appeal, this may be the shot in the funny
bone Sandler’s career needs. And if the “Shots” anthem in the trailer didn’t
clue you into it, this is Sandler finally “doing the nasty” with his comedy. With
12 films in the $100+ million club, Sandler is one of the most consistent draws
in Hollywood, and it will be very telling to see how many of his PG-13 fans
(which so far has been his bread-and-butter) follow him to darker places.
Critics shouldn’t even bother
reviewing Sandler’s films; they’re wasting their time and the reader’s. By now,
you either dig him or you don’t. With 14% on Rotten Tomatoes, it may not sweep
the Razzies like “Jack and Jill” did, earning a 3% rating, but it will
certainly take a dick-load of pot shots from reviewers…which will probably help
Sony’s cause, actually.
1. MADAGASCAR 3 - $35M
2. ROCK OF AGES - $28M
3. THAT’S MY BOY - $27M
4. PROMETHEUS - $24
5. SNOW WHITE - $12M
(Jun 14, 2012) - Comments (46)