Angelina Jolie, Salt

Columbia Pictures

Tom Cruise couldn't do it. Neither could Russell Crowe and Nicolas Cage.

They couldn't open their summer movies at No. 1.

Is Angelina Jolie about to join the big boys' club?

Maybe. And maybe not.

First, the maybe: Conventional wisdom says Jolie's new action flick Salt will open smaller than her last action flick (Wanted), and finish second in the weekend box-office race behind Christopher Nolan and Leonardo DiCaprio's Inception. (Look for our reigning dreamy champ to reach the $100 million domestic mark today.)

As for the maybe not…

Salt is not expected to come up as short as Cruise's Knight and Day, Crowe's Robin Hood and especially Cage's The Sorcerer's Apprentice. In other words, the race with Inception could be close, and the overall result should reassert Jolie's, well, Jolie-ness.

Said The Numbers' box-office analyst Bruce Nash in an email: "Jolie really stands alone right now as the only actress who can open an action movie."

Considering the silhouette where Cruise should have been on the Knight and Day poster, she might be the only actor, too.

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