Box office preview: 'Rock of Ages' and 'That's My Boy' take on 'Madagascar 3'

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Image Credit: David James

Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler, two box office titans (in very different genres), offer up their latest movies this week.

Cruise stars in Rock of Ages, the ’80s-rock musical based on the hit Broadway show, while Sandler serves up his standard crass-and-proud-of-it comedy with the R-rated That’s My Boy. Both titles should play to broad mainstream audiences, but whether they can dethrone Madagascar 3 is another story.

Here’s how I think the Top 5 will shake out:

1. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted — $33 million
The lost Central Park Zoo animals will likely top the chart once again this weekend. The last Madagascar film, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa dropped 45 percent in its second frame, and this year’s earlier CG smash The Lorax dropped by 45 percent as well. A similar drop would give Europe’s Most Wanted another $33.5 million haul — likely enough to win the weekend — and a ten-day total of about $120 million.

2. Rock of Ages — $28 million
Warner Bros. spent about $65 million on this adaptation of the hit Broadway show, and nostalgic adults — mostly female, but rock-loving men as well — ready to hear their favorite anthems by Poison and Guns N’ Roses will turn out. Tom Cruise, who plays a supporting role as rocker Stacee Jaxx, has been featured prominently in the advertising and should help to fill seats. Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough aren’t proven box office draws, but if Glee-loving young audiences decide to see Rock of Ages (after all, who doesn’t know “Don’t Stop Believin’” at this point?) it could surprise with over $30+ million. Still, I’m thinking it starts with about the same numbers as Mamma Mia!, which achieved a $27.8 million opening in 2008.

3. That’s My Boy — $23 million
Can Adam Sandler still attract his core fans after the Razzie-winning atrocity that was Jack And Jill? In all likelihood, probably — though his audience does seem to be shrinking as his style of humor remains stagnant. Former SNL cast member Andy Samberg’s presence may bring in some crowds, though he isn’t a proven draw — his only leading role, Hot Rod, sputtered in 2007 with just $13.9 million. Comedies play well in the summer, and That’s My Boy will benefit from being the first widely released R-rated comedy since American Reuonion in April, but it will still likely start a touch behind Jack and Jill, which debuted with $25 million. The Sony comedy, which cost just under $70 million, may start with $23 million.

4. Prometheus — $21.5 million
Prometheus¬†looked as though it might play like a typical front-loaded sci-fi film when it dropped 26 percent from its opening Friday to Saturday last weekend.On Tuesday, those suspicions were further validated when Prometheus was the only film in the Top 10 whose daily box office returns decreased — the other nine films increased by an average of 18 percent. Thus, it seems that Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel may fall by a hefty 55 to 60 percent to about $21.5 million over the weekend.

5. Snow White and the Hunstman — $11.5 million
Another 50 percent drop would give Universal’s $170 million Kristen Stewart/Chris Hemsworth/Charlize Theron blockbuster about $11 million for the weekend and $120 million total.

Check back throughout the weekend to see how Rock of Ages and That’s My Boy fare, and follow me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute box office updates.

Read more:
‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ — Review
‘Rock of Ages’ — Review
‘Prometheus’ — Review

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