Box office report: 'Oblivion' reaffirms Tom Cruise's star power with $38.2 million debut

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If this weekend’s box office is any indication, the couch jumping stigma that has plagued Tom Cruise’s career for the better part of the last decade may finally be thing of the past.

Cruise’s latest, the $120 million sci-fi adventure Oblivion, opened to a solid $38.2 million this weekend. That’s a terrific start for the chiseled star, who has struggled recently at the box office with under-performers like Jack Reacher, Rock of Ages, Valkyrie, and Knight and Day. In fact, only four Cruise vehicles have ever opened higher — and three of them are Mission Impossible movies. (The other is War of the Worlds). Oblivion actually marks the first number one opening for Cruise in seven years, though it should be noted that Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol opened in limited release and climbed to number one upon its wide expansion.

Cruise isn’t the only star in Oblivion — it also features Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough, and Olga Kurlyenko — but it was marketed almost exclusively on his appeal. According to distributor Universal, audiences, which were 57 percent male and 74 percent 25 or older, listed Tom Cruise as their primary reason for seeing the film, followed by the sci-fi genre and Morgan Freeman. Those same audiences weren’t in love with what they saw, though, as Oblivion was issued a lackluster “B-” CinemaScore grade.

Domestically, Oblivion opened in 3,783 theaters and earned a fantastic $10,085 location average. IMAX screens accounted for $5.5 million of Oblivion‘s weekend gross. Internationally, the film had a successful weekend, as well. After its $61.1 million opening from 52 territories, Oblivion took in another $33.6 million from 60 territories this time around. The film has grossed $112 million so far (for a $150.2 million worldwide total), and it has high-profile openings in Japan and China still to come.

In second, the Jackie Robinson drama 42 fell only 34 percent to $18 million for a $54.1 million total after ten days. Warner Bros.’ $40 million baseball pic, which earned an “A+” CinemaScore grade, didn’t hold quite as well as The Help, another “A+” racially charged drama, which dipped 23 percent in its second weekend. Thus, while 42 still seems likely to hit the $100 million mark, it doesn’t seem destined for a gross in the same range as The Help‘s $169 million total. Still, 42 is a big winner for Warner Bros., which was in dire need of a box office hit.

The Croods spent the weekend in third place, dropping 28 percent to $9.5 million. After five weeks, the $135 million animation has grossed $154.9 million, a great start in the five-year distribution deal between DreamWorks Animation and Fox.

In fourth, Scary Movie 5 didn’t hold nearly as well. The $20 million spoof from Weinstein’s Dimension fell 56 percent to $6.3 million, giving it a weak $22.9 million total after ten days. At the same point in its run, Scary Movie 4 had earned $67.5 million.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation rounded out the Top 5 with $5.8 million, marking a 48 percent drop from its prior frame. Paramount’s $130 million film has now earned $111.2 million domestically, a substantially lower gross than its predecessor, but it’s been making up ground overseas, where the film has earned $211.7 million. Retaliation opened in China this week, where it took in $33 million during its first seven days. Worldwide, Retaliation has earned $322.9 million and should pass the $400 million mark with ease.

1. Oblivion – $38.2 million
2. 42 – $18 million
3. The Croods – $9.5 million
4. Scary Movie 5 – $6.3 million
5. G.I. Joe: Retaliation – $5.8 million

The Place Beyond the Pines just missed the Top 5 after expanding from 514 theaters into 1,542 theaters. Pines grossed $4.8 million, yielding a mediocre $3,078 per theater average, which doesn’t merit further expansion. The Focus Features release cost $15 million and has earned $11.4 million total.

Two other quick highlights: Sony’s $13 million Halle Berry thriller The Call passed the $50 million mark this weekend. It’s been a nice mid-level hit for distributor TriStar. Olympus Has Fallen has also been doing terrific business for its distributor, FilmDistrict. After five weekends, the White House thriller has quietly earned $88.8 million.

For more box office coverage, follow me on Twitter:

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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