'Fault in Our Stars' Weeps Way to Hearty $48 Million at Box Office
By Todd Cunningham
Fox’s tragic teen romance “The Fault in Our Stars" captured the box-office crown with a $48.2 million opening this weekend, swamping Tom Cruise’s “Edge of Tomorrow” and providing the summer’s biggest surprise yet.
In a season typically dominated by pricey epics featuring superheroes, monsters and giant robots, the low-budget adaptation of John Green’s bestseller about two young cancer patients (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) falling in love was something out of the ordinary. Women, rarely the target for summer tentpole movies, dominated the audience which was a whopping 82 percent female and 79 percent under the age of 25. They went home happy, and gave the film an “A” CinemaScore.
“Fault fanatics” — mainly teen girls who also made the film a social media phenomenon — turned out in force Friday and powered a huge, $26 million first day that set the tone for the weekend. Last week’s No. 1 movie, Disney’s “Maleficent,” finished second with $33.8 million. That easily topped Cruise’s sci-fi saga, which wound up third with $29.1 million over its first three days.
The success of “Fault,” produced for $12 million by Temple Hill Entertainment’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen via Fox 2000, is a major financial score for the studio as not many movies quadruple their production budgets in the first three days. To put that in perspective, “Edge of Tomorrow,” from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, cost nearly $180 million to produce.
That “Fault” would open in the summer wasn’t a given. Producers Godfrey and Bowen — the team behind the “Twilight” franchise — had originally believed a release in the less-competitive fall corridor made more sense. But Fox executives thought otherwise, and were proved right this weekend.
The opening of “Edge of Tomorrow” is below that of “Oblivion,” a similar sci-fi epic starring Cruise that opened to $37 million in April of 2013. The underwhelming domestic debut means that “Edge,” directed by Doug Liman and co-starring Emily Blunt, will have to recoup its costs overseas where Cruise remains a box-office force.
“Edge” played predictably male (61 percent) and older, with 73 percent of the audience over the age of 25. The action saga got a big boost from IMAX theaters, which brought in 14 percent of its grosses. Critics loved the film (89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences gave it a “B+” CinemaScore grade.