Time was if you shoved Tom Cruise into a movie and emblazoned all the marketing with his name bigger than the name of the movie you’d pretty much have a guaranteed number one opening weekend, and most likely a box office hit. That time has passed, as this weekend’s second place finish behind a nearly month old movie, and near tie with last week’s opener, shows.
Now to be fair American Made was an enjoyable movie, but it was never going to be cultural phenomenon like IT, and it’s box office is respectable. This wasn’t a bomb for and R-rated Cruise film, but it’s a far cry from his heyday. The Hollywood superstar is clearly dead.
I think there’s plenty of things at work here. The rise of the comic book movie, and adaptations of other properties mean that people are headed to theaters to see characters, not actors. The younger generation of actors can still pull a big crowd, but they usually have to be playing an established character. Wolverine is the sell, not Hugh Jackman. I think audiences have smartened up too, probably after being burned one too many times when a star they “followed” made bad films. Whatever the reasoning it seems that the days of a single actor guaranteeing success are gone.
Is there anyone you’ll show up to a movie for because that person is in it?
1. IT – $17,310,000
2. American Made – $17,016,000
3. Kingsman: The Golden Circle – $17,000,000
4. The LEGO Ninjago Movie – $12,000,000
5. Flatliners – $6,700,000
6. American Assassin – $6,250,000
7. Battle of the Sexes – $3,400,000
8. Home Again – $1,756,372
9. Til Death Do Us Part – $1,567,966
10. mother! – $1,460,000