Weekend Box Office: $175 Million Alien Movie Destroyed By $12 Million Tween Weepie

What was that old studio wisdom about not being able to open female-fronted films again?

The Fault in Our Stars opened with $48.1 million domestic for the weekend, not as good as Divergent‘s $54 million a few months ago, but since both starred Shailene Woodley I’m sure she’ll be able to afford only the finest in home-made toothpastes and bark lozenges from here on out. Meanwhile, Edge of Tomorrow only managed $29.1 million ($82 million worldwide), which was not only behind Elysium and John Carter, but even lost to Maleficent in its second weekend ($33 million) going head to head.

Not only that, Edge was the most expensive movie of Tom Cruise’s career at $175 million, not including marketing. This while The Fault in Our Stars cost just $12 million to make and $30 million to market, for an eventual audience that turned out 82% female and 79% under 25 (ie, a great place to pick up chicks).

Man, it’s almost as if adapting popular romance books aimed at teenage girls is a winning strategy. If only someone had figured this out sooner.

Analysts were left trying to explain Edge of Tomorrow‘s mildly disappointing showing:

What went wrong on the home front for Warner? Some analysts theorized that Mr. Cruise’s presence ratcheted up box-office expectations; others contended that coverage of his personal life has diminished his star power. Some studio executives insisted that “Edge of Tomorrow” was too original — it is the intricate tale of a supersoldier who relives the same alien-battling day over and over — while others declared it too similar to other films both in title and subject matter.

In particular, the title “Edge of Tomorrow” drew negative comparisons to “The Day After Tomorrow,” a 2004 disaster movie. (Warner changed the newer title from “All You Need Is Kill” after the 2012 movie theater shootings in Colorado.) [NewYorkTimes]

I’m going to go with “more original than the trailers made it look” (not that I loved it, but lots of people did). We’ve already seen the soldier exo-skeleton thingy a few times now, which all the trailers kind of focused on, despite it not being that big of an aspect in the actual film. It would’ve been an easier sell (and I especially would’ve liked it more) if there’d been a more tangible, charismatic alien threat, but the movie doesn’t really have that.

In any case, this news probably won’t mean much. It’s not like anyone’s going to stop making Tom Cruise or alien invasion movies. At worst, maybe in the next one, Tom Cruise will have to save the Earth to impress a witty chick with cancer.

This week brings us How to Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street.

[via NY Times, Forbes, BoxOfficeMojo]