oblivion-2

When there’s only one movie opening in wide release during a weekend (and it stars Tom Cruise), it’s not hard to guess what’s going to be the number one picture come Sunday. 42. Again (just kidding).

Though internationally his star hasn’t dipped too much (a film like Knight and Day made cash overseas), and Oblivion has already made $61 Million in foreign markets, it’s hard to say if audiences have taken Cruise back into their hearts. Sure, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was a huge hit, but that promised big action and delivered. It was also a franchise. Jack Reacher did modest business, but Paramount seemed okay with that. They didn’t push it like a big movie. But it’s been five months since the last Tom Cruise movie. Is he that much of a draw that people will pay to see him this much? They didn’t turn out for Rock of Ages, but it’s not worth pinning the blame for its failure on Cruise, even if he was part of why the film didn’t work.

Oblivion is more on his shoulders, and Universal is counting on having two weeks, and maybe some modest play once Iron Man 3 hits screens on May 3. But really they’re just thinking about having a good opening weekend, and maybe getting over $100 domestically (even though the film cost over that amount). But — as we’re seeing with many of the biggest movies in the next couple weeks — America isn’t the dominant market any more, and most of the big films are going to be opening first internationally. Oblivion, Iron Man 3 and Star Trek into Darkness are all scheduled to open overseas before they play in America. And it’s likely this is a trend that will continue, as it’s more important for big pictures to open around different foreign holidays than it is to match the domestic release date.

As for this weekend:

  1. Oblivion – $40 Million
  2. 42 – $20.3 Million
  3. The Croods - $11 Million
  4. G.I. Joe 2 – $7.5 Million
  5. Scary Movie 5 – $5 Million

Scary Movie hasn’t been performing well in the weekdays, and it should plummet, but could stay in the top five because of weak competition. The Croods should mostly flatline as the only kid film out, and Oblivion is the only (new) game in town, so around $40 is what’s expected because of it and Cruise and nerds.

What are you going to watch this weekend?