Weekend box office: 'Toy Story 3' wins, but what does poor 'Knight and Day' performance tell us about Tom Cruise?
"Toy Story 3" easily stays at the top of the box office. Adam Sandler remains a draw, even in a movie with only nine percent positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. And a poor revenue reception is bad news for "Knight and Day," but is Tom Cruise really to blame? An attempt to answer that question -- along with analysis of other pressing weekend box office matters -- follows.
"Toy Story 3" added another $59 million to its North American total, bringing its domestic tally to more than $226 million. Translation: the third "Toy Story" has already outgrossed the first and is on track to become the most financially successful movie in the franchise.
Adam Sandler is perceived in the industry as a box office sure thing. And while his "Grown Ups" didn't knock it out of the park -- it came in second place -- it earned around $41 million, which isn't bad. And here's another semi-surprising little nugget: according to Brandon Gray at Box Office Mojo, 53 percent of the "Grown Ups" audience over the weekend was female.
And that brings us to "Knight and Day," which made $20.5 million over the weekend, making it the least lucrative Tom Cruise opening since "Days of Thunder," if you don't adjust for inflation. Adjust for inflation, and "Knight and Day" looks even worse.
So what happened here? It's tempting, as David Germain of the Associated Press does, to attribute the poor performance to Cruise's couch-jumping, Scientology-promoting behavior in recent years. But, in the same article, Germain also points out that both "Mission: Impossible III" and "Valkyrie" had stronger debuts, and both movies came out when the Katie Holmes engagement/Brooke Shields bashing were fresher in our minds.
Personally, I think a decline in Cruise's appeal is part of the problem, but it's not the only problem. And I don't just say that because I acted as Mr. Cruise's defense attorney in Tom Cruise Court. As, again, Box Office Mojo points out, the less than persuasive marketing of "Knight and Day" didn't do the flick any favors. Oh, and neither did Cameron Diaz. Maybe the movie has a little bit of staying power in it. But with "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" opening Wednesday, it could sputter even further.
As for the indie side of things, "Cyrus" is continuing to perform well for a modest release; it took in $300,000 over the weekend in just 17 theaters. And as the Wall Street Journal reporter, the well-received "Winter's Bone" is doing decent business and has already earned more than $1 million in limited release. As for overall business, it was down nearly 20 percent compared to this same weekend last year. Which means Hollywood's hopes now turn to the vampires.
It seems fairly obvious that "Eclipse" will top next weekend's box office. But should we assume that? Is there a chance in Forks, Wash., that "The Last Airbender" or repeat-winner "Toy Story" will triumph instead? Vote in the poll below to put your prediction on the record.
| June 28, 2010; 8:45 AM ET
Categories: Movies, Pop Culture | Tags: Box Office, Summer Movies
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