Ask folks on the street which movie they think would do better on opening weekend, an action flick starring Tom Cruise or an adaptation of a young adult drama novel, most people would probably put their money on Cruise. This weekend proved yet again that these days the second most powerful box office demographic behind comic book fans are teenage girls.
John Green's adapted young adult novel The Fault in our Stars might not have the same draw as its more fantasy driven young adult movie franchise cousins like The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games or the newly minted Divergent series, but it still landed a solid number one opening this weekend with $48 million against a very modest reported $12 million budget.
That success comes with one significant asterisk. The movie looked to be off to a huge start with solid sales at Thursday night previews and Friday night topping $26 million. But, in a rare occurrence, sales going into Saturday dropped more than half, making just $12 million followed by a very slow $9 million on Sunday. While it was the number one movie overall this weekend, it was only number one on Friday. Last week's top earner Maleficent was back on top for the rest of the weekend.
That sort of sharp drop off likely means the passionate fans got in early, have already had their fill, and that the drop off will probably continue. Not that anyone at Fox is complaining. Not only have they already turned a nice little profit, they have bragging rights that their movie beat Tom Cruise.
Tom Cruise movies haven't exactly been major performers at the domestic box office in the last few years. With the exception of the Mission: Impossible franchise flicks he hasn't had a headliner break $100 million (that's total domestic sales, not just opening weekend) since War of the Worlds almost a decade ago. Of course, he's a huge draw internationally and his movies consistently earn back more than double their reported budgets when you look at world-wide sales, but this weekend proved again that Cruise's name isn't getting North Americans out the movies as much as it used to.
Despite being one of his most critically praised movies of the last decade (at least, as far as Rotten Tomatoes statistics are concerned), Edge of Tomorrow had a quiet domestic debut, banking just $29 million for a third place opening. As expected, it did far better internationally, adding $111 million from other venues around the world against its $178 million production budget.
Noticeably absent from box office estimates was The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which had a reported $540,000 on Friday (not quite good enough to make the top ten). No info was reported for the rest of the weekend, leaving open the smallest possibility that it might have out paced Million Dollar Arm for the overall number ten spot. No news on why Sony/Columbia didn't report estimates for the rest of the weekend. At last report the movie was hovering at $195 million, inching slowly towards $200 million, something of a psychologically important benchmark for the franchise's lowest performing entry to date.
For the full weekend top ten, check out the chart below: