UPDATE: With the exception of the oddity called “Lions for Lambs,” Tom Cruise has never had a lower opening weekend box office than with “Jack Reacher.” I’m counting here his movies that opened in more than 2,000 theatres. “Reacher” took in just $15.6 million. That’s actually less than each of Cruise’s last two films, “Knight and Day” and “Valkyrie,” which were in similar size releases and– in the case of the lamentable “Valkyrie”– at Christmas as well. Those two releases opened in the $20 mil range.
You have to go back 20 years to “Far and Away” to find a Cruise opening weekend that made less money–$10 mil, only 1800 theaters. Is this a referendum for Cruise in non Mission Impossible vehicles? It’s definitely a wake up call. As I’ve said for years, his best shot at regaining a larger audience is to find a new “Jerry Maguire” role where he can woo the female audience with his infectious grin. He’s also going to have to get real with promotion– actual interviews, with real answers to questions. And maybe he’ll get the message that Scientology has helped destroy three marriages, and now, possibly, it imperils his career.
Earlier: The confluence of many things, starting with the Newtown, Connecticut killings and ending with Tom Cruise’s aversion to doing much personal publicity, has ended with a disappointing opening night for “Jack Reacher.” Playing in over 3,300 theaters, “Reacher” made only $5.1 million on Friday night.
That’s considerably less–a million dollars or so — than “Knight and Day” made in 2010 on its first Friday night. That movie went on to make just around $78 million.
Of course, the producers of “Jack Reacher” say it only cost $60 million. That’s ridiculous since Cruise gets $20 million off the top. And they spent a lot on international premieres, and canceled junkets. No matter– “Jack Reacher” didn’t cost just $40 million other than Cruise’s salary.
“Reacher” is a key referendum on Tom Cruise outside of “Mission Impossible” franchise. If it makes $15 million or less this weekend, that’s not a good sign. “Reacher” has been clobbered by the main critics. It’s also up against “The Hobbit”–which made twice as much money last night– as well as lingering and popular films like “Skyfall” and “Lincoln.” If a new Tom Cruise isn’t making much of a dent in the box office, that’s not good news.
Tomorrow we’ll see how the whole thing played out.
PS Good news: what no one’s talking about is that Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” has quietly cruised to $73 million very quickly. How nice! I thought this Pi might have been undercooked, but it’s not so. Could very well be a Best Picture nominee, along with Lincoln, Argo, Silver Linings, Django, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Miz, The Master, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and –hmmm– Amour?
thanks to Boxofficemojo.com:
|Date||Title (click to view)||Studio||Lifetime Gross / Theaters||Opening / Theaters||Rank|
|6/15/12||Rock of Ages||WB (NL)||$38,518,613||3,470||$14,437,269||3,470||25|
|12/16/11||Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol||Par.||$209,397,903||3,555||$12,785,204||425||3|
|6/23/10||Knight & Day||Fox||$76,423,035||3,104||$20,139,985||3,098||19|
|11/9/07||Lions for Lambs||UA||$15,002,854||2,216||$6,702,434||2,215||32|
|5/5/06||Mission: Impossible III||Par.||$134,029,801||4,059||$47,743,273||4,054||10|
|6/29/05||War of the Worlds||Par.||$234,280,354||3,910||$64,878,725||3,908||1|
|12/5/03||The Last Samurai||WB||$111,127,263||2,938||$24,271,354||2,908||12|
|7/26/02||Austin Powers in Goldmember
|4/19/02||Space Station 3-D (IMAX)
|5/24/00||Mission: Impossible II||Par.||$215,409,889||3,669||$57,845,297||3,653||2|
|7/16/99||Eyes Wide Shut||WB||$55,691,208||2,483||$21,706,163||2,411||23|
|11/11/94||Interview with the Vampire||WB||$105,264,608||2,604||$36,389,705||2,604||13|
|12/11/92||A Few Good Men||Col.||$141,340,178||2,201||$15,517,468||1,925||9|
|5/22/92||Far and Away||Uni.||$58,883,840||1,885||$10,194,520||1,583||22|
|6/29/90||Days of Thunder|