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What do you call a big budget movie with an exceedingly bankable movie star and loads of praise from critics? Some would say Edge Of Tomorrow, but after the movie's first weekend a more appropriate phrase might be "a bomb". The sci-fi action flick had its ass handed to it by a teen literary sensation and Angelina Jolie wearing horns and a form fitting costume. A film that has Tom Cruise, the man who most consider to be our last true "movie star" at its center. A movie that, I repeat, CRITICS ACTUALLY LIKED! So the real question is, with a horrific first weekend on its record, will Edge Of Tomorrow even have a chance in Hell of being a hit?
Let's deconstruct the numbers, courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Edge Of Tomorrow's reported budget was a hefty at $178 million upfront, not including marketing and any other ancillary expenses. Usually, when measuring a film's box office success, we take a figure of one and a half times the upfront budget and work with that as a benchmark for breaking even. For Edge Of Tomorrow, that figure would be $267 million. Given the film's $29 million first weekend take, it's not hard to wonder if Warner Bros. is regretting their decision to make the film. For comparison, the $170 million budgeted Captain America: The Winter Soldier managed to bring in an opening weekend of $95 million and has gone on to make $255 million domestically. Since most films are destined to decline anywhere between 30% to 60% in subsequent weekends after their opening, Edge Of Tomorrow looks like it's dead on arrival... or is it?
At the time this article is being published, Box Office Mojo has Edge Of Tomorrow with total gross of $140.1 million. Where did all the unaccounted money come from? Answer: the international box office. The film opened as early as May 30th in certain nations, trying to avoid the World Cup as a distraction, and in early weeks the movie made$20.1 million. Between last weekend and this weekend, the film has enjoyed some strong, growing box office numbers, and the official numbers from international territories who also debuted the film this weekend (like China) aren't even counted yet. Having made $111 million total from these territories, Edge of Tomorrow only has only about $127 million left to make until it breaks even. While it has a slim chance of being a hit, the film might just bring itself to the even money line with some consistent top ten showings in the weeks to come.
Considering how big of a star Tom Cruise is throughout the world, as well as the fact that China is the biggest foreign market share when it comes to the international market, Edge Of Tomorrow has the right stuff to become a stealth success story like Pacific Rim did last year. The next couple of weekends will be crucial, but if the word on the street is any indication, this is a film that deserves the success that has eluded it thus far.
Edge Of Tomorrow is currently in theaters.