Early reports are that ‘Rock of Ages’ is tanking in movie theaters. I could’ve told you that just based on the previews. You could not pay me enough to see ‘Rock of Ages’ and I’ll explain why!
All you really have to do is look at the poster. “Well, Sword, don’t judge a book by its cover!” Welp, that’s not going to happen because I have to judge a book, or in this case, a movie, by its cover because that’s what fills seats. People see the posters and the trailers for these movies and their interest is piqued. Everything about this movie had me asking “What the hell is this movie doing out?”
Here’s a quick synopsis:
A small-town girl and a big-city boy find their fates intersecting on the Sunset Strip, riding a wave of romance through the height of the “hair metal” scene as the off-Broadway musical rocks its way to the big screen courtesy of choreographer-turned-director Adam Shankman (A Walk to Remember, Hairspray). Arriving in Hollywood with stars in her eyes, Sherrie (Julianne Hough) meets Drew (Diego Boneta), and together they plunge headlong into the local rock scene. Meanwhile, as Sherrie struggles to stay afloat in a churning sea of rock ‘n’ roll excess, she gets swept off her feet by audacious rock star Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise). Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, and Bryan Cranston co-star in a movie featuring music by Journey, Def Leppard, Poison, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Joan Jett, and REO Speedwagon. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
One of the most important things to me is to keep it real with you guys, or don’t write about it at all. And I’m going to write about it because it’s about to get real.
We work too hard for our money to just spend it on any old movie and you do too. I can’t go see a movie when it’s just not feasible for me… Rather, the people they chose for the roles and the plot just don’t have it. Tom Cruise as a debaucherous rock god? No, sir! I can’t even get over that. How do we get past it? We don’t.
Cruise got into excellent shape for this film (but then again, he seems to be in shape in general) and I loved him in ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol‘, but ‘Rock of Ages‘ simply wasn’t for him. He doesn’t come off as remotely close to an iota of what “Stacee Jaxx” could be. That’s a problem. Would you go see a movie where Lindsay Lohan plays a celibate, drug free nun? How could you? You’ve probably discounted the movie from jump.
The biggest mistake was picking Cruise. Great actor. He’s just not a good fit.
The cast itself was problematic. I like Russell Brand, but he’s just not that marketable to American audiences yet.
Then you have Julianne Hough… I guess. I’m not sure if her star power is enough to carry this already tedious looking movie. According to Deadline, the movie is a brick:
But New Line/Warner Bros’ Rock Of Ages (3,470 theaters) is falling to earth with a thud. Which Hollywood expected because the pic had been tracking poorly for weeks (and even went down at one point week to week). The studio felt the 1980s period piece was a hard sell to younger moviegoers. I suspect the problem was casting. Russell Brand has been repellant to moviegoers, while Tom Cruise as iconic rocker proved just too incredulous for audiences. The PG-13 musical is looking to open to only $15.5M after taking in just $5.5M today. Given that the pic was based on the Broadway warbler, it did far worse than Mamma Mia which with the same pedigree opened to $27M. It cost $75M. Warner Bros was holding out hope, though, for a good CinemaScore that could result in great word of mouth and therefore great legs for the film. It didn’t materialize: audiences only gave Rock Of Ages a mediocre ‘B’. There’s just no way to save this s(t)inker…
The sad thing is I should have bet that ‘Rock of Ages’ would have failed because I would have won money. But then again, who would have been silly enough to bet against me? The movie is based in 1987 featuring hair metal artists that we now recognize as pretty cheesy. Don’t get me wrong, I love hair metal (word to Def Leppard), but not enough to go see a movie/musical featuring the genre’s catalog of songs.
I’m not sure it should have ever been made into a movie, but they did and as such, they really killed its chances with some of the cast. Alec Baldwin and Paul Giamatti–as much as I adore them as actors–cannot save this movie. You know it’s bad when you can’t even watch the commercials because it’s like watching your parents rap–awfully–to “N*ggas in Paris” while dressed like Kanye West and Jay-Z or worse: being in the same room as your parents when one of those ‘Game of Thrones‘ sex scenes comes on. It’s cringe-inducing. I personally turned away like Dracula to sunlight.
Did you see ‘Rock of Ages’? If so, what do you think? Could anyone pay YOU to see it?