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'Rock of Ages' is box office flop on opening weekend ... Is Tom Cruise to blame?



Getty ImagesRock of Ages might not be the best movie time capsule of the '80s we've seen in the last decade, but its heart is in the right place. But it seems moviegoers aren't interested anyway. The movie is expected to pull in only $15 million this weekend, according to projections by

"The studio felt the 1980s period piece was a hard sell to younger moviegoers," explained Deadline's Nikki Finke. "I suspect the problem was casting. Russell Brand has been repellent to moviegoers, while Tom Cruise as iconic rocker proved just too incredulous for audiences."

Myself, I still wonder if Cruise's persistent unlike-ability is hurting it too. Every time I mentioned seeing the movie to people over the last week, the reply I got every single time was: "I'm not going; I can't stand Tom Cruise." Seriously. Every time.

Never mind that this might be Cruise's most interesting performance since 1999's Magnolia. (Without him, I'd say the movie is much closer to unwatchable.) And it's been how long now since his jumping up and down on Oprah's couch and berating NBC's Matt Lauer over psychiatric drugs? These days, people don't seem to forgive and forget.

Maybe then the idea of seeing Cruise as a "rock god" was too much for his critics to stomach. Best next move for Cruise? Taking a role where he's unpretty and downright sympathetic. Play a loser, Tom. Trust me.

[Listen to our Rock of Ages podcast]

[Last modified: Sunday, June 17, 2012 7:23am]


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