“Rock” is set in the Bourbon Room, a fictional club on the 1987 Sunset Strip similar to the “Whiskey a Go-Go.” The story follows a young country girl who moves to Los Angeles to fulfill her dreams of becoming a star. Along the way she meets a diverse cast of characters, each on a different rung on the ladder to fame.
The opening for “Rock” was lower than two other recent musicals - “Hairspray” opened with $27.4 million in 2007 and “Mamma Mia!” debuted with $27.8 million in 2008. With a 42% score on RottenTomatoes.com, “Rock” did somewhat better than “Boy” in the review department, but audiences granted the film a tepid “B” CinemaScore. Despite the film's Herculean efforts to appeal to men, the audience nonetheless skewed female with 62%, and 74% were older than 25. Prospects for legs do not look encouraging for “Rock of Ages.”
Sandler's R-rated “That’s My Boy” locked out the family and younger audiences who have boosted his recent opening weekends.
Sandler’s last film was the PG-rated “Jack and Jill” which was blasted by critics but still opened to a more than respectable $25 million, and before that “Just Go With It” - rated PG-13 – debuted with an even better $30.5 million. “That’s My Boy” is ranked outside of Sandler’s top 15 grossing films, behind the $16.1 million of November 2000’s “Little Nicky.” Of the debuts of 14 Sandler-starring films that opened in more than 3,000 theaters, “Boy” ranks at the bottom of the list in 14th place.
SNL recent retiree Andy Samberg and Leighton Meester also star in “Boy,” which was directed by Sean Anders. The story is about a teen who fathers a child with his teacher and raises him as a single parent until his 18th birthday. After not seeing each other for years, the son’s world comes crashing down when his Dad resurfaces just before his wedding, seeking to renew their relationship so that he can borrow money to avoid going to jail.
Reviewers gave the film a bleak 23% on the Tomatometer while moviegoers gave the picture a “B-“ according to CinemaScore. The audience was slightly more male with 54% and younger, with 52% under the age of 25. None of the indicators look to boost interest in the film in the weeks ahead, so it’s not likely to make back its roughly $70 million production budget any time soon.