So what went wrong with Knight and Day's opening weekend? Well, it was neither a good opening for a summer tentpole nor a Cruise action flick. But what if it's a Cruise/Diaz romantic action comedy that plays and builds? Next weekend will tell the tale. The movie's Tomatometer rating was 53% rotten, and the film’s CinemaScore was B+ with an A- for those under 25. (The LAT talks to Fox marketer Tony Sella about their troubles selling the movie.)
Another pesky problem: Twilight: Eclipse will prove to be a slight distraction. But there will be plenty of moviegoers to go around over the July 4 weekend. We'll have a holiday box office preview tomorrow.
While Cruise isn't the marquee star he once was (and clearly has turned off legions of people with his antics), Knight and Day's poor showing is a case of familiarity breeds discontent. It looks too much like films we've seen before.
Fans think Cruise is playing the same character he always plays. Some think he's a bad actor.( I don't.) But what he needs to do now is stop playing this too-familiar adrenaline-crazed larger-than-life movie persona and lose himself in some characters (like the villain in Collateral) that we haven't seen him play before. He needs to surprise us.