Sunday, May 26, 2024

Tom Cruise Faces “Oblivion” with A Raft of Bad Reviews for New Film


“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.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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