Theater owners and operators I’ve polled at CinemaCon are most uncertain about Tom Cruise‘s Oblivion opening Friday. They’ve seen the early strong overseas grosses. But stateside exhibitors lament that their audiences don’t widely go for original sci-fi, and they’re skeptical about Cruise’s domestic drawing power in the Universal pic. “It didn’t move me,” one exhibitor told me who’d seen the film. “I’d rather see Oblivion — with someone else starring,” said another. As for summer pics Sony/Columbia’s Will Smith-starrer After Earth has no buzz here – but the studio could change that with its Wednesday panel. Exhibitors expect huge demand for Marvel’s Iron Man 3 despite the ticketing dispute which Deadline broke today between Disney and some chains. Paramount’s Star Trek Into Darkness footage wowed the CinemaCon crowd yesterday. They’re also high on WB’s Man Of Steel. But only one summer pic had the unanimous vote: Universal’s Fast & Furious 6. Overseas exhibitors in particular are expecting huge results based on the franchise’s popularity and the diverse multicultural cast which appeals in foreign markets. For family fare, exhibitors are banking on Universal’s Despicable Me 2 to hit big. But Pixar’s Monsters University has theater operators disagreeing due to the lackluster interest in the Monsters Inc 3D re-release last Christmas.
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