Although there are two new wide releases this week, Rock of Ages and That's My Boy, the most likely winner of the box office will be last week's release Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. The well-reviewed film will dovetail into some families' Father's Day plans. If it drops 40%, about average for an animated feature, it will end up in the mid-$30 millions.
Tom Cruise as mega-rocker Stacee Jaxx is one of the best reasons to see Rock of Ages (3,450 theatres). The adaptation of the Broadway jukebox musical stars Julianne Hough (Footloose) and Diego Boneta as a young couple trying to follow their dreams in a rock club on LA's Sunset Boulevard. "This rock musical delivers the goods, delightfully skewering the 1987 L.A. rock-club scene and breathing fresh air into cherished genre clichés," FJI's Doris Toumarkine reports. Rock of Ages can be over the top to the point of ridiculousness, but it's likely to earn in the $20 million range and will probably extend the life of the Broadway production for years--that lovely synergy the industry strives for these days.
Adam Sandler puts on his man-child cap for That's My Boy (3,030 theatres). Sandler plays a man who fathered a son with his teacher while still a teenager. Now the son ("SNL's" Andy Samberg) is all grown up and renews his relationship with his estranged father before he gets married--leading to some bachelor party debauchery, among other things. "Even the most diehard Adam Sandler fans will find it hard to sit through this holiday-tagged product," critic Marsha McCreadie laments, pointing out that the father-son picture is timed to this Sunday's Father's Day. Polling suggest males over 25 have the most interest in seeing the comedy, so perhaps the fathers who grew up with Sandler will treat their sons to his signature humor. The picture should also finish in the $20 million range, though most predict Rock of Ages will outdo Sandler's latest.
Your Sister's Sister (13 theatres) stars Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, and Rosemarie DeWitt in an unlikely love triangle complicated by sexual orientation, siblings alive and dead, and that old classic---secretly held feelings. Toumarkine praises the "savvy, emotionally rich comedy-drama," which establishes [director Lynn ]Shelton [profiled here] as a top-tier indie who delivers the quality goods that smart young audiences want to see." I thought it was a pretty good watch, with a couple of delicious turning points that make up for a few dead moments.
On Monday, we'll see if audiences sang along to Rock of Ages or chortled to Sandler's antics. Could Prometheus overperform thanks to positive word-of-mouth? Finally, in Madagascar 3's last week before Pixar's Brave comes in to compete, will the zoo adventure do enough business to greenlight a Madagascar 4?