"Rock of Ages" Takes in Nearly $20 Million During First Week in Release
By Andrew Gans
As of June 20, "Rock of Ages," the Warner Bros./New Line movie musical adapted from the 2009 Tony Award-nominated Broadway show of the same name, has brought in $19,360,137 at the box office, according to boxofficeMojo.com.
The new motion picture earned $14,437,269 during the June 15-17 weekend, the film's first in release. That figure made the new movie musical the third-highest-grossing film of the weekend, following "Madagascar 3" ($34,055,474) and "Prometheus" ($20,712,174).
For comparison, in their original opening weekends, movie versions of "Mamma Mia!" and "Hairspray" brought in $27.8 million and $27.5 million, respectively.
"Rock of Ages," which is populated with classic tunes from the 1980s, includes Oscar nominee Tom Cruise as rocker Stacee Jaxx, Tony Award nominee Alec Baldwin (A Streetcar Named Desire) as Dennis, the owner of the Bourbon Room, where most of the film's action is set; and actor-comedian Russell Brand ("Arthur") as his sidekick, Lonny. Newcomer Diego González Boneta stars as Drew, an aspiring rock star who gets by bussing tables at the Bourbon with Julianne Hough (Ariel in the film adaptation of Footloose) as love interest Sherrie Christian, who also dreams of stardom. Also featured are Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige as Justice, Paul Giamatti (The Iceman Cometh) as Paul Gill and Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") as Mayor Mike Whitmore.
New characters to the film version of Rock of Ages are played by Tony Award winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (A Little Night Music) as the mayor's wife, Patricia Whitmore, who is determined to take down Stacee Jaxx and the Bourbon Room (Zeta-Jones covers "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," the 80s song made famous by Pat Benetar); and Malin Akerman ("Watchmen") as Constance Sack, a conservative Rolling Stone journalist looking for the truth behind pompous rock star Jaxx.
The characters of German developer Hertz Klinemann and his son and comedic counterpart, Franz—originated on Broadway by Paul Schoeffler and Theatre World Award winner Wesley Taylor, respectively—have been cut from the story for the film.
Constantine Maroulis, who originated the role of Drew in Broadway's Rock of Ages and received a Tony nomination for his performance, makes a cameo in the film and is featured in "Any Way You Want It."
Adam Shankman ("Hairspray") directs and choreographs the film from a screenplay by Justin Theroux, Chris D'Arienzo and Allan Loeb that "tells the story of small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew, who meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams," according to press notes. "Their rock 'n' roll romance is told through the heart-pounding hits of Def Leppard, Foreigner, Journey, Poison, REO Speedwagon, Twisted Sister and more."
Songs featured in the film include "Paradise City," "Sister Christian," "Just Like Paradise," "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "Waiting For A Girl Like You," "More Than Words," "Wanted Dead Or Alive," "I Want To Know What Love Is," "I Wanna Rock," "Pour Some Sugar On Me," "Harden My Heart," "Shadows of the Night," "Any Way You Want It," "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and "Don't Stop Believin'," among others.
The film is produced by Matthew Weaver, Scott Prisand, Carl Levin, Tobey Maguire, Garrett Grant and Jennifer Gibgot; Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Michael Disco, Samuel J. Brown, Hillary Butorac Weaver, Janet Billig Rich, Shankman and D'Arienzo are executive producers.
The stage musical premiered Off-Broadway at New World Stages in October 2008 and transferred to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway in March 2009. Rock of Ages earned five Tony nominations including Best Musical, Best Direction, and Best Actor. The production is currently playing at the Helen Hayes Theatre.
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