For movie fans there was pretty much only one game in town this weekend and as a result, it was an easy win for Tom Cruise's new sci-fi epic "Oblivion," which earned an estimated $38.2 million to capture the box office crown.
That's a solid number both for Cruise, who continues to prove his action hero credentials even at age 50, and for director Joseph Kosinski, whose only previous feature film, "TRON: Legacy," brought in similar numbers ($44 million) over its opening weekend back in 2010.
Of course, "Oblivion" benefited from the fact that there was basically no competition. Fearful of being stomped by the Cruise machine, studios moved their tentpoles to other dates, leaving "Oblivion" as the only wide release of the weekend. But hey, a win by default is still a win, right?
The lack of new releases was also good news for returning films, like last weekend's champion "42," which took in a strong $18 million to push its ten day total to $54 million. "The Croods" also hung on to third place in its fifth week of release with $9.5 million, while Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling's broodfest "The Place Beyond the Pines" expanded into wider release, moving into sixth place with $4.7 million.
It will be interesting to see whether next week's big new release, Mark Wahlberg's "Pain & Gain," can knock off "Oblivion." Either way, though, fans and studios alike seem to just be marking time until the summer really begins with "Iron Man 3" in two weeks.
And that's totally cool with Tom Cruise.
Here's a look at this weekend's full top ten, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
1. "Oblivion" - $38.2m (our review)
2. "42" - $18m (our review)
3. “The Croods” – $9.5m (our review)
4. "Scary Movie 5" - $6.3m (our review)
5. "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" - $5.8m
6. "The Place Beyond the Pines" - $4.7m (our review)
7. “Olympus Has Fallen” – $4.5m (our review)
8. "Evil Dead" - $4.1m (our review)
9. "Jurassic Park 3D" - $4m (our review)
10. “Oz the Great and Powerful” – $3m (our review)