‘That’s My Boy’: Worst Adam Sandler box office flop?
June 17, ’12, update: The R-rated father-and-son comedy That’s My Boy will quite possibly become the biggest box office bomb in Adam Sandler’s career since the lowbrow comedian became a (mostly domestic) box office powerhouse following The Wedding Singer back in 1998.
Sandler’s That’s My Boy movie took in an estimated $13 million at 3,030 locations this weekend in North America, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. The film opened in the no. 5 slot, behind the Kristen Stewart / Chris Hemsworth / Charlize Theron holdover Snow White and the Huntsman and about $2 million behind another disappointment, Adam Shankman / Tom Cruise’s Rock of Ages.
Directed by Sex Drive‘s Sean Anders from a screenplay by David Caspe (of the television series Happy Endings), That’s My Boy co-stars Saturday Night Live‘s Andy Samberg as Adam Sandler’s son.
Reviews for the $70 million-budgeted comedy have been merciless. That’s My Boy has an embarrassingly low score even for an Adam Sandler movie: 11 percent approval rating and 2.3/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes‘ top critics.
Box office: That’s My Boy vs. Adam Sandler’s previous flops
Regarding That’s My Boy‘s box office take, here are a few comparisons to Adam Sandler’s flops / disappointments in the last 15 years:
- Dennis Dugan’s PG-rated Jack and Jill (2011) opened with $25 million, and went on to gross $74.15 million in the U.S. and Canada. Due to its $79 million budget, the film was considered an underperformer. In fact, Jack and Jill failed to recover its production costs even after adding the unusually high $75.51 million it earned overseas.*
- Judd Apatow’s R-rated, $75 million-budgeted Funny People (2009) cumed at $51.85 million after raking in $22.65 million on its debut weekend. Overseas, Funny People collected a measly $19.73 million.
- Mike Binder’s 20 million-budgeted Reign Over Me (2007) scored $7.46 million (about $8.5 million today) at 1,671 theaters (nearly 1,400 fewer sites than That’s My Boy), cuming at $19.66 million. Don Cheadle co-starred. Overseas gross: a comparatively negligible $2.56 million.
- James L. Brooks’ Spanglish (2004), a socially conscious comedy-drama co-starring Téa Leoni and Paz Vega, opened with $8.81 million (about $11 million today) at 2,438 theaters. A more “respected” effort, Spanglish finished its domestic run with $42.72 million (approx. $54 million in 2012). Overseas gross: $12.31 million. Budget: $80 million.
- Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love (2002), an unusual Adam Sandler effort, cumed at $17.84 million (approx. $24 million today) after opening strongly at five theaters. Emily Watson co-starred. Rumored cost: $25 million. Overseas gross: $6.82 million.
- Steven Brill’s Little Nicky (2000), co-starring Patricia Arquette and Harvey Keitel, grossed $39.46 million (approx. $58 million in 2012) after opening with $16.06 million (approx. $23.5 million in 2012) at 2,910 locations. Overseas gross: $18.82 million. Budget: $85 million.
- Prior to The Wedding Singer and Adam Sandler’s movie stardom, Ernest R. Dickerson’s Bulletproof (1996) brought in $6.01 million (about $12 million today) at 2,240 locations, cuming at $21.57 million (about $43 million today). Damon Wayans co-starred. Overseas gross: $1.03 million. Budget information for Bulletproof was unavailable.
Now, Sony Pictures shouldn’t keep their hopes up that international moviegoers will come to the rescue of That’s My Boy. After all, with rare exceptions, Adam Sandler’s movies perform better – at times much better – in North America than elsewhere.
That’s My Boy movie cast
Besides Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, That’s My Boy features Leighton Meester, Milo Ventimiglia, Blake Clark, Meagen Fay, and Saturday Night Live‘s Will Forte.
In addition to: rapper Vanilla Ice as himself, veteran entertainer Tony Orlando in his feature-film debut, Academy Award nominee James Caan (The Godfather), and five-time Oscar nominee Susan Sarandon (Atlantic City, Thelma and Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, The Client, Dead Man Walking; Sarandon won for the last film).
* Hollywood studios generally collect about 50 percent of their films’ domestic gross; 40 percent from overseas.
That’s My Boy movie Rotten Tomatoes score updated on July 2.
That’s My Boy movie / Andy Samberg / Adam Sandler pictures: Tracy Bennett / Columbia Pictures.
Box office movies: Prometheus, with Noomi Rapace
Box office movies: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted easily topped the North American box office this past weekend (June 15-17). In fact, DreamWorks’ animated 3D feature earned nearly as much as the next two movies – Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Adam Shankman / Tom Cruise’s Rock of Ages – combined.
According to weekend box office actuals, Madagascar 3 collected $34.05 million, down 43 percent compared to its opening weekend. After ten days, Madagascar 3‘s cume stands at $119 million.
At no. 2, Prometheus was down an alarming 59 percent, raking in $20.71 million. Even taking into consideration the $3.56 million earned at Thursday midnight screenings, Prometheus’ drop-off rate was 56 percent, which is high for a prestige, expensive ($130m) production that’s not part of franchise or an adaptation from a comic book and the like. (Curiously, Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman, which stars Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth, suffered a similar box office drop last weekend.)
Prometheus to match production budget at domestic box office?
After ten days, Prometheus’ cume is $89.37 million. At this stage, it’s unclear whether Prometheus will manage to match its production cost (it’ll certainly not recover it) at the domestic box office.*
Directed by Megamind‘s Tom McGrath, Eric Darnell, and Conrad Vernon, and written by Darnell and Fantastic Mr. Fox‘s Noah Baumbach, Madagascar 3 features the voices of Meet the Fockers’ Ben Stiller, Friends’ David Schwimmer, Grown Ups’ Chris Rock, and Borat‘s Sacha Baron Cohen. In addition to Jada Pinkett Smith, Jessica Chastain, Frances McDormand, Paz Vega, Chris Miller, Bryan Cranston, Martin Short, Andy Richter, and co-director Tom McGrath.
The Prometheus movie cast features Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Idris Elba, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Kate Dickie, and Patrick Wilson. Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof wrote the Prometheus screenplay.
* Hollywood studios generally collect 50-55 percent of the their films’ domestic gross and 40 percent from the overseas gross.
Box Office Movies picture: Prometheus movie / Noomi Rapace (Kerry Brown / 20th Century Fox).
Tom Cruise ROCK OF AGES: box office misfire
Though not exactly a “Tom Cruise movie,” Rock of Ages will likely become Cruise’s weakest domestic performer since the Robert Redford-directed Lions for Lambs six years ago – and the actor’s “second-weakest” since two 1999 releases: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia (which earned Cruise a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination) and Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. (Rock of Ages photo: Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx, with Malin Akerman.)
Landing behind Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and Ridley Scott / Michael Fassbender’s Prometheus, the Adam Shankman-directed, $75 million-budgeted Rock of Ages scored a disappointing $14.43 million at the North American box office this past weekend according to box office actuals. It should be noted that although the movie itself received mediocre reviews, Tom Cruise was generally singled out for critical praise.
Tom Cruise: Rock of Ages trump card
In fact, Tom Cruise was Rock of Ages’ key selling point. His previous movie, the more standard Cruise vehicle Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, was a major worldwide success in late 2011/early 2012. Rock of Ages, however, will likely fail to even match its production costs domestically – let alone recover them. Chances of overseas success are slim as well, as the Broadway musical on which Shankman’s film is based is less well known abroad. Yet, Tom Cruise remains a major box office draw internationally, which makes him Rock of Ages’ trump card outside the United States.
Rock of Ages cast
An all-star ensemble, in addition to Tom Cruise, Rock of Ages features newcomer Diego Boneta as the romantic lead, Footloose‘s Julianne Hough as Boneta’s love interest, in addition to Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago), Oscar nominees Alec Baldwin (The Cooler) and Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man), plus Russell Brand, Malin Akerman, Will Forte, Bryan Cranston, and Mary J. Bilge.
Box office: That’s My Boy ahead of Snow White and the Huntsman
The weekend’s no. 4 movie was not Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman as Sunday estimates indicated, but the Adam Sandler / Andy Samberg comedy That’s My Boy. The good news for Sandler ends there: the critically lambasted R-rated comedy took in a mere $13.45 million at 3,030 locations. In other words, That’s My Boy could well become Adam Sandler’s biggest box office bomb (in relation to the film’s $75 million production budget).
That’s My Boy also features Leighton Meester, Milo Ventimiglia, Blake Clark, Meagen Fay, Vanilla Ice, Tony Orlando, Rock of Ages’ Will Forte, 1972 Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominee James Caan (The Godfather), and 1995 Best Actress Oscar winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking).
Right behind That’s My Boy was Snow White and the Huntsman, which drew $13.26 million, down 42 percent from last weekend. Although that’s an acceptable drop-off rate, it was still quite a bit higher than those for two other big summer movies, Men in Black III (-28 percent) and The Avengers (-21 percent). Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, and Sam Claflin star.
“Tom Cruise ROCK OF AGES: Box Office Flop” / Tom Cruise Stacee Jaxx / Malin Akerman picture: David James / Warner Bros.
June 16 p.m.
Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg: That’s My Boy
Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy box office: Relatively speaking, the R-rated father-son comedy That’s My Boy may turn out to be the biggest flop in Adam Sandler’s movie-star career. Well, at least since Sandler became a (domestic) box office powerhouse following his 1998 pairing with Drew Barrymore in Frank Coraci’s The Wedding Singer.
Directed by Sean Anders from a screenplay by David Caspe, That’s My Boy took in an estimated $4.6 million at 3,030 locations on Friday. Co-starring soon-to-be former Saturday Night Live player Andy Samberg, That’s My Boy will, with luck, reach $13 million for the weekend.
For comparison’s sake, here are Adam Sandler’s box office flops of the last 15 years:
- Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love, a more ambitious Adam Sandler movie, cumed at $17.84 million (approx. $24 million today) after opening strongly at five theaters. Rumored cost: $25 million. Emily Watson co-starred.
- James L. Brooks’ Spanglish, a socially conscious comedy-drama co-starring Téa Leoni and Paz Vega, opened with $8.81 million in 2004 (about $11 million today) at 2,438 theaters. Spanglish cumed at $42.72 million (approx. $54 million in 2012). Budget: $80 million.
- Mike Binder’s 20 million-budgeted Reign Over Me raked in $7.46 million (about $8.5 million today) at 1,671 theaters (nearly 1,400 fewer sites than That’s My Boy) in 2007, cuming at $19.66 million. Don Cheadle co-starred.
- Further back in time – in fact, prior to The Wedding Singer and real movie stardom – Ernest R. Dickerson’s Bulletproof earned $6.01 million at 2,240 locations in 1996, or about $12 million today. Damon Wayans co-starred.
Some pundits have speculated that as a father-son tale, the $70 million-budgeted That’s My Boy will perform more robustly on Father’s Day. Personally, I find it hard to imagine that fathers and sons will decide to celebrate Father’s Day by watching a comedy labeled “vulgar, tasteless, mean-spirited and most offensive of all – not funny” by the usually lenient Richard Roeper. But then again, it takes all kinds.
That’s My Boy has a dismal 6 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes’ top critics.
In addition to Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, That’s My Boy features Gossip Girl‘s Leighton Meester, Killing Season‘s Milo Ventimiglia, Toy Story 3‘s Blake Clark, Tony Orlando, Meagen Fay, Will Forte, Vanilla Ice (as himself), veteran James Caan (The Godfather), and, inexplicably, Oscar winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking).
That’s My Boy / Andy Samberg / Adam Sandler pictures: Tracy Bennett / Columbia Pictures.
Ridley Scott / Michael Fassbender’s Prometheus movie and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted will easily retain their positions on the North American box office chart this weekend. But that’s not necessarily good news for all.
Adam Shankman / Tom Cruise’s Rock of Ages’ and Adam Sandler / Andy Samberg’s That’s My Boy‘s opened to quite disappointment figures on Friday. DreamWorks’ animated feature Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted will thus remain at the top of the chart. After collecting an estimated $10.02 million on Friday, Madagascar 3 will likely reach a perfectly acceptable $30–33 million over the weekend and should be passing the $100 million milestone on Saturday.
Prometheus will remain in second place, but that’s where the good news end. Ridley Scott’s sci-fier plummeted 73 percent from a week ago., scoring only $5.82 million on Friday. That’s a high drop-off rate even taking last week’s Thursday midnight screenings into account. Prometheus will likely fail to crack $20 million by Sunday evening.
Now, even if Scott’s Prometheus movie does reach $20m, it’ll probably still be down about 60 percent compared to last weekend. That would be an alarming second-weekend drop-off rate for an expensive ($120m-$130m) production that’s not a sequel, a comic book adaptation, or a cheap horror flick. (See Prometheus vs. Alien box office comparison.)
At no. 5, behind both Rock of Ages and That’s My Boy, should be Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman, which is expected to bring in about $12 million after earning an estimated $4 million on Friday. It will be interesting if That’s My Boy so underperforms that Sanders’ period fantasy manages to land at no. 4. Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, and Sam Claflin star in this reinterpretation of the Snow White fairy tale.
Rounding out the top twelve at the North American box office on Friday were the following: Will Smith / Tommy Lee Jones / Josh Brolin’s Men in Black III with $2.8 million, Chris Evans / Robert Downey Jr’s The Avengers with $2.18 million, Maggie Smith / Judi Dench’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with $625,000, and Wes Anderson / Edward Norton’s Moonrise Kingdom with $618,000.
Also: Cameron Diaz / Jennifer Lopez’s What to Expect When You’re Expecting with $445,000, Taylor Kitsch / Rihanna / Brooklyn Decker’s Battleship with $339,000, and Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator with $333,000.
In addition to Michael Fassbender (as the android David), the Prometheus movie cast features The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo‘s Noomi Rapace, Monster‘s Charlize Theron, Memento‘s Guy Pearce, Across the Universe‘s Logan Marshall-Green, Thor‘s Idris Elba, The Borgias’ Sean Harris, Anonymous‘s Rafe Spall, Somers Town‘s Kate Dickie, and Evening‘s Patrick Wilson. Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof wrote the Prometheus screenplay.
Directed by Megamind‘s Tom McGrath, Eric Darnell, and Conrad Vernon, and written by Darnell and Fantastic Mr. Fox‘s Noah Baumbach, Madagascar 3 features the voices of Night at the Museum‘s Ben Stiller, Friends’ David Schwimmer, Grown Ups’ Chris Rock, and Borat‘s Sacha Baron Cohen.
Also: The Matrix Reloaded‘s Jada Pinkett Smith, The Help‘s Jessica Chastain, Fargo‘s Frances McDormand, Standby Lovers’ Paz Vega, Shrek‘s Chris Miller, John Carter‘s Bryan Cranston, Frankenweenie‘s Martin Short, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa‘s Andy Richter, and co-director Tom McGrath.
Michael Fassbender / Prometheus movie photos: Kerry Brown / 20th Century Fox.
June 16 early morning
Rock of Ages movie: Tom Cruise / Stacee Jaxx
Rock of Ages opened with a poor – especially for a “Tom Cruise movie” – $5.8 million (down from $7 million estimate a few hours ago) at 3,470 locations in North America on Friday. Faring even worse is the latest Adam Sandler comedy, the R-rated That’s My Boy, co-starring Andy Samberg, which is expected to take in only $5 million at 3,030 venues on Friday.
Initially, Rock of Ages was to have ended the weekend somewhere between $17m-$21 million. As per Deadline.com, that’s down to a paltry $15.5 million. Also earlier today, The Hollywood Reporter had the musical pegged between $19m-$21 million. Some box office prognosticators had been expecting Rock of Ages would open between $25m-$30 million.
Directed by Hairspray / Cheaper by the Dozen 2‘s Adam Shankman, who also co-produced the 2010 Oscar telecast, Rock of Ages has a mediocre 45 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes‘ top critics and a 5.3/10 average. Sample reviewer quote: “This is a movie you’ll never be able to un-see, so think carefully…” (Peter Canavese at Groucho Reviews.)
Box office: Rock of Ages vs. Hairspray, Mamma Mia!, Rent
Regarding Rock of Ages’ box office, for comparison’s sake: Shankman’s Hairspray, an adaptation of another Broadway musical, opened with $27.47 million at 3,121 theaters in 2007. Featuring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, James Marsden, and Nikki Blonsky, Hairspray went on to gross $118.87 million in North America and $83.67 million abroad.
Directed by The Iron Lady‘s Phyllida Lloyd, and starring Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, and Dominic Cooper, Mamma Mia! opened with $27.75 million at 2,976 locations in 2008. The $52 million-budgeted ABBA-ish musical went on to earn $144.13 million in North America and an astounding $465.71 million internationally.
Another comparison: Chris Columbus’ Rent, featuring a little-known cast, was considerably less lucky than Hairspray and Mammia Mia!, but wasn’t that much worse off than the more high-profile Rock of Ages. The 40 million-budgeted Rent opened with $10.01 million at 2,433 locations in 2005, cuming at a paltry $29.07 million in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to a dismal $2.59 million overseas. For the record, Rock of Ages cost a reported $75 million.
Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx steals show
For better or for worse (it depends on who’s reviewing it), Tom Cruise’s veteran rocker Stacee Jaxx, steals the show in Rock of Ages. For comparison’s sake: though not an actual “Tom Cruise movie” – 90210‘s Diego Boneta and Footloose‘s Julianne Hough play the romantic leads – Rock of Ages is chiefly being marketed on Tom Cruise / Stacee Jaxx’s bare, tattooed shoulders. Yet, the film should open at a much lower level than two recent Tom Cruise star vehicles that performed “modestly” at the domestic box office: Valkyrie ($21.02 million in 2008) and Knight & Day ($20.13 million in 2010). (I have “modestly” between quotes because we’re discussing Tom Cruise. Both movies would have been considered okay-to-good performers had they starred most anybody else.)
In addition to the aforementioned Tom Cruise, Diego Boneta, and Julianne Hough, Rock of Ages features Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago), 30 Rock‘s Alec Baldwin, Sideways’ Paul Giamatti, Arthur‘s Russell Brand, Malin Akerman, Bryan Cranston, and Will Forte.
Rock of Ages / Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx picture: David James / Warner Bros.