With much of the nation's eyes glued to coverage of the Watertown manhunt (which ended after 9 p.m. E.D.T.), Universal's Tom Cruise-starrer "Oblivion" still managed a solid $13 million opening day gross (which includes early shows late Thursday night). The total for the Top 10 films for the day overall was around $29 million, down from $39 million last year and $32 million last week. Grosses for the rest of the weekend will likely improve with competition from real-time drama no longer a factor.
Universal's stateside "Oblivion" launch, as is often the case with star-driven pictures, follows the film's overseas release; it has already grossed over $75 million. Heading to an easy #1 for the full weekend (likely in the mid $30-million range), "Oblivion" will mark Cruise's first #1 non-"Mission Impossible" film since "Tropic Thunder," as his domestic appeal has lagged behind his international draw.
No other new film opened wide, and the fall offs for most of the rest of the top 10 likely reflect the impact of last night's TV coverage. "42" (Warner Bros.) will be #2 for the weekend, with a likely drop of under 40%, reflecting good audience response and a shot at a long run. #3 "The Croods" (20th Century-Fox) will be third, continuing its climb to a possible $200 million+ domestic haul.
The rest of the top 10 grossed $2 million or less, well below a normal take. "Scary Movie 5" dropped over 60% from its already disappointing opening for fourth place.
A real bright spot continues to be Focus' "The Place Beyond the Pines," which could rise to #6 as it expands to over 1,500 screens, less than half of any of the films in the top 5. The Bradley Cooper-Ryan Gosling film looks to be headed to at least a $25 million ultimate haul (it will be over $11 million by the end of the weekend), and possibly a good deal beyond.
"G.I. Joe: Relatiation" (#5 for Friday), "Evil Dead," "Olympus Has Fallen," "Jurassic Park 3D" and "Oz: The Great and Powerful" filled out the rest of the Friday leaders.