Box Office: ‘Pain and Gain’ fumbles on Friday with $7.5 million

Moviegoers appear to be taking a breather before the summer movie season kicks off next weekend with “Iron Man 3.”  Friday’s new releases included Michael Bay’s “Pain and Gain” and the romantic comedy “The Big Wedding” and neither performed up to expectations.

“Pain and Gain” was expected to open somewhere in the mid-$20 million range, but after Friday’s $7.5 million debut that looks highly unlikely.  The true-life story will be lucky to hit $20 million for the three-day.  Paramount Pictures focused on the action and comedy elements featuring stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but that may have been a mistake. The true life aspect of the horrendous crimes perpetrated by the Sun Gym gang may have made the film seem less like a body builder comedy (which it is not).  This is also Johnson’s third major release in just three months and that might be a bit much for even his loyal fanbase.

Last weekend’s champ, “Oblivion,” dropped to the second slot with another $5.1 million and $52.3 million in just seven days. Disturbingly, “Oblivion” didn’t have fantastic weekday grosses and with “Iron Man 3” arriving Friday it may fade away quicker than originally anticipated. The Tom Cruise Sci-Fi flick looks like it will end up with $90 million domestically when all is said and done.

Third place went to the Jackie Robinson biopic “42.” The Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros.’ drama made another $2.9 million for $61.3 million in a little over two weeks.

Lionsgate’s romantic comedy “The Big Wedding” opened in fourth with a disappointing $2.5 million.  Featuring a seemingly moviegoer friendly ensemble cast of Amanda Seyfried, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Robert De Niro and Topher Grace, “Wedding” will be lucky to find $7 million by end of day Sunday. Romantic comedies have lost a lot of their luster over the past two years, but Lionsgate has had little success with this genre.  Would another studio have made a difference?  Judging by the reviews, probably not.

DreamWorks Animation’s comeback family flick “The Croods” rounded out the top five with $1.5 million and $157.9 million domestically.  With a stellar $430 million worldwide, it’s no surprise the studio has already ordered a sequel.

Look for complete weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.