Box office preview: 'Oblivion' will Cruise to No. 1

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Only one new film is entering the fray this weekend, the Tom Cruise sci-fi adventure Oblvion. With no real competition, the film should easily top the chart, while The Place Beyond The Pines looks to break out in its wide release expansion.

Here’s how the box office may shake out:

1. Oblivion – $38 million
Tom Cruise has become a polarizing star over the past few years, but he’s still a considerable draw in major action tentpoles like the Universal release Oblivion, which cost about $120 million to produce. Oblivion will benefit from being the first big-budget spectacle to hit theaters since G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and it should play very well with young men as a result. (Morgan Freeman’s presence is always a reliable draw for men as well.) The film has gotten a strong, Inception-y marketing push from the studio, and it will get a boost from IMAX screens as well. Out in 3,782 theaters, Oblivion could earn about $38 million this weekend.

2. 42 – $19.5 million
The Jackie Robinson drama scored at the box office last weekend, and with an “A+” CinemaScore, it’s destined to hold well in the weeks to come. 42 may drop by about 30 percent in its sophomore frame, giving it $19.5 million for the weekend and $55 million total.

3. The Croods – $9 million
The $135 million DreamWorks Animation caveman family film dropped by a larger-than-expected 37 percent last weekend due to 42‘s surprisingly strong family business. This time around, The Croods doesn’t have to worry about new family films arriving, so it may fall by a softer 30 percent. Give it $9 million for the weekend and $154 million total.

4. The Place Beyond The Pines – $5.6 million
The $15 million Focus Features release, which stars Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, has performed admirably in limited release, where it’s already earned $6.3 million. Pines expands from 514 to 1,542 theaters this weekend, and while its per-theater average will take a hit, it’s also looking at a solid $5.6 million frame — a good result for an artsy piece released early in the box office year.

5. G.I. Joe: Retaliation – $5.4 million
With Oblivion entering theaters, Paramount’s $130 million action film may drop by a full 50 percent, giving it $5.4 million and $111 million total.

Check back to EW all weekend for full box office coverage, and follow me on Twitter at @gradywsmith for more box office conversation throughout the week.

Read more:
Oblivion: EW Review
The Place Beyond the Pines: EW Review
42: EW Review
The Croods: EW Review
G.I. Joe: Retaliation: EW Review


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