Oblivion Cruises to No. 1 position

Posted: April 26, 2013 at 2:48 a.m.

Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise star in Oblivion. The film came in first at last weekend’s box office and made more than $37 million.

Oblivion, the Tom Cruise science-fiction tale, opened as the top weekend movie at U.S. and Canadian theaters, taking in more than $37 million for distributor Universal Pictures.

The Jackie Robinson biography 42 dropped to second place with sales of $18 million for Legendary Pictures and distributor Warner Bros., researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office reported.

Oblivion, about human survival after the Earth has been devastated by war, was the only movie to open in wide release. The pace will quicken next month when studios begin releasing major summer productions, including Walt Disney Co.’s Iron Man 3, Paramount Pictures’ Star Trek Into Darkness and Warner Bros.’ The Hangover Part III.

Oblivion, made for about $120 million, was expected to take in $36.9 million domestically, the estimate of researcher Box Office Mojo. In the film, Cruise plays a man who roams a devastated Earth protecting energy plants from alien scavengers. Gradually, he learns that he hasn’t been told the complete truth about the planet’s near destruction and the creatures he fights. Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough are featured in the movie.

The opening was the best of Cruise’s last three films. Jack Reacher, based on Lee Child’s novels, debuted in second place with sales of $15.2 million in December and the musical Rock of Ages opened in third place with $14.4 million in June, according to Box Office Mojo.

In 42, Chadwick Boseman stars as Robinson, the first black to play major league baseball. Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager who recruited Robinson and helped him deal with the racism of fans and players. The film, made for $40 million, has taken in $53.7 million since it opened on April 12.

The movie is the first independent production for Legendary, which is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Tull and best known for the Dark Knight films. The company, whose financing and co-production agreement with Warner Bros. expires at the end of the year, is developing three more on its own, including the action films Great Wall and Pacific Rim.

The Croods, a 3-D film about a prehistoric family of cave dwellers, was third with $9.2 million in receipts for DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. The movie, featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds, has taken in $155 million after five weeks in theaters.

The horror-movie spoof Scary Movie 5 was fourth with $6.2 million. The film continues the series poking fun at the genre. The latest version takes on the recent crop of possession movies by focusing on a couple who are stalked by demon soon after they bring their newborn home from the hospital.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation, a sequel to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, dropped to fifth place with sales of $5.8 million.

In narrower release, Rob Zombie’s latest horror tale, The Lords of Salem, flopped with $642,000 in 355 theaters, for a dismal average of $1,808 a cinema. That compared to an average of $9,795 in 3,783 theaters for Oblivion.

The low-budget hip-hop drama Filly Brown opened solidly with $1.5 million in 188 theaters, for an average of $7,863. The film stars Gina Rodriguez and the late Jenni Rivera in the story of a young talent with a shot at stardom on Los Angeles’ hip-hop scene.

MovieStyle, Pages 32 on 04/26/2013