Box Office Preview: 'Madagascar 3' to Trump 'Rock of Ages,' 'That's My Boy'
"Rock of Ages" could edge past "That's My Boy" with an opening gross of $20 million or more, while each is hoping to benefit from Father's Day; "Madagascar 3" should score north of $30 million in its second weekend.
Good old family fun is expected to best 1980s nostalgia at the domestic box office this weekend, where the jukebox musical comedy Rock of Ages and Adam Sandler’s R-rated comedy That's My Boy enter the fray.
Despite their mega-wattage star power, both movies look to be bested by Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted in its second weekend. The animated film, which has earned nearly $200 million worldwide, is projected to top the domestic box office with a gross north of $30 million.
After that, the Father's Day race is up for grabs.
Director Adam Shankman and New Line hope Rock of Ages -- boasting an all-star cast that features Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin as aging ’80s rocker -- replicates the success of their previous summer muscial comedy, Hairspray, which debuted to $27.5 million in summer 2007.
But it could be tough for Rock of Ages to reach those levels, according to tracking. Instead, most box-office obsevers believe the film will open in the $20 million range. Others believe it could overperform because tracking for musicals can be difficult to read.
One hitch: Rock of Ages appears to be appealing primarily to women over 25. Mamma Mia! and Hairspray faced the same obstacle but went on to become box-office hits (Mamma Mia! opened to $27.8 million in summer 2008).
Ridley Scott’s Prometheus could beat Rock of Ages and stay at No. 2 in its second weekend. Projections show the sci-fi epic grossing $20 million to $25 million domestically for a worldwide cume north of $200 million.
If Rock of Ages is the clear choice for women, then That’s My Boy is generating the most interest among young males. The comedy, expected to open in the $17 million to $19 million range, stars Sandler as a deadbeat dad, complete with a 1980s mullet. His son, who is about to get married, is played by Andy Samberg.
Sandler is one of Hollywood’s most consistent stars in terms of box-office performance, but his previous film, Jack and Jill, was a disappointment domestically after topping out at $74.2 million.
That’s My Boy, with its R rating and raunchy humor, is a departure for Sandler because most of his films are broad comedies. Sony believes this will play in the movie’s favor.
Sony spent less than usual on That’s My Boy, which cost nearly $70 million to produce. New Line likewise stayed budget-conscious and kept costs for Rock of Ages to about $65 million, according to the studio.
New specialty relesaes include IFC Films’ comedy Your Sister’s Sister, starring Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass, and ATO’s The Woman in the Fifth, starring Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott Thomas.