Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler had the worst opening weekends ever for any of their stand alone movies. It’s 2012. The 1980s may finally be over. For years Sandler has cruised on the same formula movie of a manchild who can’t or won’t grow up. Usually he’s oversized baby who speaks in funny voices and does stuff that’s borderline mentally handicapped. If there was any thought to any of it, it’s long gone. And into every one of these films was stuffed some sort of lesson or moral tale that proved Sandler’s character knew more than he was letting on. But with “That’s My Boy” he even tried to destroy Andy Samberg before his own career could get out of the gate. Samberg is 100 times hipper and smarter. He will escape Sandler’s clutches. But with $13 million for the entire first weekend, Sandler would be smart now to just play some golf and make occasional appearances. He’s landed right in Eddie Murphy country.
For Cruise, the stakes are higher. His “Rock of Ages” disaster comes at the end of a succession of oddities. While “Mission Impossible” only serves him well, “regular’ movies are a problem. Now the marketing geniuses will have to start planning his Christmas release, “Reacher,” a thriller that’s supposed to be the first of many in a new series. There are already complaints that the Jack Reacher from the book it’s based on is six foot five, and unlike Cruise in every way physically. “Rock of Ages” is going to have a long lasting effect as a bomb, so Paramount has a job on its hands to separate Cruise’s improbable 80s rock star from their holiday tentpole. But with lack of interest in Cruise, and the 80s music from “Rock of Ages,” it’s possible that finally the 1980s are over. Maybe a “Top Gun 2” isn’t such a good idea after all.