Only one new major release this weekend as Tom Cruise returns to theaters in “Oblivion”. Cruise’s “Minority Report” is a fan favorite and was successful last decade. Can “Oblivion” live up to those expectations?

Cruise is coming off of “Jack Reacher”, which underperformed at the box office. But this one is an ambitious sci fi epic from the look of the trailers and the film is clearly looking to bring in summer sized audiences. Joseph Kosinski (“Tron: Legacy”) is directing and so far reviews have been OK, praising the visuals and Cruise, but criticizing the story. That could spell trouble in the long run because sci fi films tend to live or die based on whether its story can stand up to the action and special effects. Still, its opening weekend should be sizable given the lack of sci fi films like this in recent months. The promise of action and intrigue will be enough to get the sci fi die hards out in large numbers. Universal has had success in April with “Fast and Furious” and “Fast Five” both doing big business in the month, so while this one won’t reach astronomical numbers, expect a strong opening. The biggest worrisome thing is there were plans to release the film a week early in IMax to build word-of-mouth buzz. But those plans were cancelled, which in my mind means the studio realized it didn’t have a great film on its hands.

Opening weekend: $40-45 million

Expect “42”, the film about Jackie Robinson to hold extremely well and earn about $20 million in its second weekend.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

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