America took one look at this weekend's new releases and figured, "Eh, no thanks." Even Tom Cruise's presence couldn't lift "Rock of Ages", the film only rustled up $15.1m at the box office. Though Cruise wasn't the lead in the film (Hi, Julianne Hough!) it was his lowest opening result since the (mostly) convoluted "Lions for Lambs" back in 2006. Oddly enough, Julianne Hough's other lead role, the remake of "Footloose", also opened at $15m. The lesson there might be to not budget anything above, say, $15m for her future projects. Still, the "Rock of Ages" opening was clearly superior to Adam Sandler's new film, "That's My Boy", which only managed a paltry fifth-place showing. Sandler doesn't generally appear in R-Rated comedies ... and now we know why.
So who was the big winner? "Madagascar 3" has clearly captured the attention of families, repeating as box-office champion, dipping only 41 percent this weekend. "Prometheus" took second place even though it fell an estimated 60 percent. The message to Ridley Scott's sci-fi prequel was clear, "We no likka your confusing think piece!" Still, thanks to U.K. tax credits and decent international reach, "Prometheus" should end up a moderate winner at the box office.
On the indie front, "Moonrise Kingdom" continued its strong showing, earning over $12k per theater (the highest amount in the top ten) while slowly expanding into theaters. Could this be the Wes Anderson film that surpasses his "Royal Tenenbaums" domestic haul? It's still $46m short, but the reviews have been strong enough that it's within the realm of possibility.
Overall, it was a down weekend for the studios, the lowest top 12 since June of 2010, when "Shrek Forever After" was winning its third weekend in a row. What will next weekend hold? Two films are vying for the top spot, though "Brave" looks to be the heavy favorite against "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". Additionally, Focus Features is bringing "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" to theaters, but with only 1,400 locations showing the film, a top five finish feels like a lofty goal.
Here are the estimated totals for the top ten over the three-day weekend, courtesy of Box Office Mojo:
1. "Madagascar 3" - $35.5m
2. "Prometheus" - $20.1m (our review)
3. "Rock of Ages - $15.1m (our review)
4. "Snow White and the Huntsman" - $13.8m (our review)
5. "That's My Boy" - $13.0m (our review)
6. "Men in Black 3" - $10.0m (our review)
7. "Marvel's The Avengers" - $8.8m (our review)
8. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" - $2.2m (our review)
9. "Moonrise Kingdom" - $2.2m (our review)
10. "What To Expect When You're Expecting" - $1.3m