Tom Cruise, Rock of Ages, Adam Sandler, That's My Boy

Warner Bros. Pictures, Columbia Pictures

The Tom Cruise-paced Rock of Ages and Adam Sandler's That's My Boy weren't expected to win the weekend box office.

But they weren't expected to lose it so badly, either.

The two new movies came up short in their debuts, finishing well behind still-reigning champ Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.

In third place, Rock of Ages settled for an estimated $15.1 million Friday-Sunday when it had been pegged for a gross in the high $20 millions, à la director Adam Shankman's 2007 musical hit, Hairspray

The R-rated That's My Boy, costarring Andy Samberg, bowed in fifth, behind the three-week old Snow White and the Huntsman. It managed $13 million, also far below projections, and the weakest debut for a Sandler comedy since The Wedding Singer kicked the star's career into another gear almost 15 years ago.

"They both should have done much better," editor Phil Contrino said in an email.

Of the two new films, Contrino gave Rock of Ages, reportedly made for a summer-modest $75 million, the better shot of salvaging its run.

"It has the makings of a cult hit," Contrino said. "Plus, the musical is still an alternative to all the explosive-filled blockbusters that aim most for young males."

With Rock of Ages and That's My Boy fizzling, the box office resumed its summer sputter. According to Exhibitor Relations, overall ticket revenue was down more than 15 percent versus the same, Green Lantern-led weekend from last year.  

Among the holdovers, Madagascar 3 pushed its domestic total past $120 million, while Men in Black 3 surpassed $544 million worldwide. 

Ridley Scott's Prometheus moved in on $90 million domestically even as it fell like a rock from last weekend's debut.

The Avengers grossed $8.8 million, the first time the mega-blockbuster has failed to break eight digits in a domestic weekend. Of presumed interest to Titanic watchers, the Marvel superhero movie is now at $586.7 million overall, holding at third place on the list of all-time domestic champs

Battleship and The Dictator both dropped from the Top 10 after domestic runs of $62.2 million and $57.7 million to date, respectively. The bottom line of the $200 million Battleship was shored up by overseas audiences, who have gotten it near $300 million worldwide. The new Sacha Baron Cohen comedy, meanwhile, basically wound up performing like the provocateur's 2009's Brüno, which isn't a bad thing, but also isn't an indication that moviegoers appreciated Cohen's attempt at more-conventional storytelling. 

Here's a complete look at the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday domestic estimates as reported by the studios and Exhibitor Relations:

  1. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, $35.5 million
  2. Prometheus, $20.2 million
  3. Rock of Ages, $15.1 million
  4. Snow White and the Huntsman, $13.8 million
  5. That's My Boy, $13 million
  6. Men in Black 3, $10 million
  7. The Avengers, $8.8 million
  8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, $2.2 million
  9. Moonrise Kingdom, $2.18 million
  10. What to Expect When You're Expecting, $1.3 million

(Originally published at 9:07 a.m. PT on June 17, 2012.)

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