“Oblivion” opens today in the US after hitting nearly every country in the world first. The reason for this was simple. As with some other recent duds, studios know to make their money abroad before bringing a turkey home for roasting. So far “Oblivion” has made $71 million around the world. It’s not a record by any means, but it gives Universal a head start should things not work out here.
Critic-wise, “Oblivion,” starring smiling Tom Cruise, is no one’s favorite. Panned by the three New York papers and USA Today, “Oblivion” has a 59% on Rotten Tomatoes. Keep refreshing because that number could change. And interestingly, some of the negative reviews still gave it a fresh tomato instead of a splat. (I’d love to hear the conversations between the publicists and the reviewers in those instances.)
“Oblivion” should have a strong Friday night. But after that, who knows? Only word of mouth will drive Saturday and Sunday attendance. And Cruise is coming off the sort of awful “Jack Reacher,” which barely made $80 mil domestically. And unlike “Minority Report,” in which legendary actress Lois Smith actually explained the movie half way through, no one does the same for “Oblivion.” The graphics are supposed to be top notch however.
Cruise is more and more inaccessible to newer generations of movie goers. His PR campaign was mostly abroad. Except for Kimmel and Fallon, he stayed away from major TV and any real interviews. Everything is scripted now, nothing is spontaneous. The so called real Tom Cruise, to under 30 year olds, is a Scientologist with many failed marriages who once jumped on Oprah’s couch. This weekend we’ll see if placing him in a sc-fi setting with lots of gadgets and explosions will lure audiences in anyway.