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Rock of Ages (2012 film)

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Rock of Ages (2012 film)

Rock of Ages
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Adam Shankman
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Rock of Ages 
by Chris D'Arienzo
Music by
Cinematography Bojan Bazelli
Edited by Emma E. Hickox
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • June 15, 2012 (2012-06-15)
Running time
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75 million[2]
Box office $59,418,613[2]

Rock of Ages is a 2012 American romantic musical comedy film directed by Adam Shankman. The film is an adaptation of the 2006 rock jukebox Broadway musical of the same name by Chris D'Arienzo. Originally scheduled to enter production in summer 2010 for a 2011 release, it eventually started production in May 2011 and was released on June 15, 2012.

The film stars country singer Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta leading an ensemble cast that includes Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Åkerman, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston, and Tom Cruise. The film features the music of many 1980s rock artists including Def Leppard, Journey, Scorpions, Poison, Foreigner, Guns N' Roses, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, Bon Jovi, David Lee Roth, Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, and others.

The film received mixed critical reviews, with a 41% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 208 reviews. However, Tom Cruise's performance was particularly lauded. The related film soundtrack also did critically well, certified Gold in Canada.


In 1987, Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) arrives in Los Angeles from Oklahoma with dreams of becoming a singer. Meanwhile barback Drew Boley (Diego Boneta) prepares for another night of work at The Bourbon Room. As Sherrie approaches The Bourbon, her suitcase is stolen. Drew tries to catch the robber, but fails. He comforts Sherrie and, upon learning of her situation, gets her a job at the Bourbon Room as a waitress.

The club's owner, Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin), and his right-hand man, Lonny Barnett (Russell Brand), are trying to find a way to pay off a tax debt that threatens the club. In hopes of raising enough money, Dennis and Lonny decide to book Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise), a rock star that mildly resembles a cross between Bret Michaels and Axl Rose preparing for his final gig with his band, Arsenal. Upon hearing of Stacee's upcoming concert, Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones), the religiously conservative wife of the mayor (Bryan Cranston), organizes a protest in front of the Bourbon Room.

Drew and Sherrie's relationship progresses, with Drew admitting he has started writing a song for Sherrie. On the night of Arsenal's final show, Dennis learns that their opening act has cancelled. Sherrie convinces him to use Drew and his band, Wolfgang Von Colt, as the replacement opener. Meanwhile Stacee's manager, Paul Gill (Paul Giamatti), schedules an interview between Stacee and Constance Sack (Malin Akerman), a reporter for Rolling Stone.

During the interview, she mentions the rumors that Stacee is difficult to work with and implies that he was actually kicked out of Arsenal, a charge Stacee denies. After the interview, Constance lashes out at him, claiming that he was once a great musician but now is on the verge of becoming a has-been. Stacee orders everyone out of the dressing room so he can settle things with Constance privately.

Drew visits the Hollywood sign, where he finds Sherrie. Sherrie tells Drew that she didn't have sex with Stacee and that she is going home. She also admits that she has been working as a stripper. Drew admits his new act is actually a boy band. Sherrie and Drew both lament the situation.

Stacee realizes he has feelings for Constance. Stacee calls the Rolling Stone office in an attempt to find her, but the receptionist tells him that "she is covering Stacee Jaxx’s show at The Bourbon Room" and Stacee, unaware that he was supposed to perform that night, rushes to the venue. Meanwhile, Drew has found all of Sherrie’s stolen records at the Tower Records they first visited together. He buys them back and drops them off for her at the strip club.

The Z Guyeezz start the show, but the rocker crowd rejects them, and Drew, spotting Sherrie in the audience, leaves the stage. The two reconcile and Drew also dismisses Gill. Sherrie reunites Wolfgang Von Colt for the opening act, where Drew performs the song he wrote for her. Stacee hears the song and is moved by it.

Eight months later, Stacee, who has rejoined Arsenal, performs the song with Drew and Sherrie, who is now part of Wolfgang Von Colt, in a concert at Dodger Stadium in front of a crowd that includes Dennis, Lonny, Justice, a pregnant Constance, and Patricia, who has returned to her rock 'n' roll persona.


Main characters
Supporting characters
Cameo appearances

Musical numbers

Music used throughout the film (most notably Journey), channels the film's 80s tone.
  1. "Paradise City" (opening credits) – Tom Cruise
  2. "Sister Christian/Just Like Paradise/Nothin' but a Good Time" – Sherrie, Drew, Lonny, Dennis
  3. "Juke Box Hero/I Love Rock 'n' Roll" – Drew, Dennis, Lonny, Sherrie
  4. "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" – Patricia
  5. "Waiting for a Girl (Boy) Like You" – Drew, Sherrie
  6. "More Than Words/Heaven" – Sherrie, Drew
  7. "Wanted Dead or Alive" – Stacee, Sherrie
  8. "I Want to Know What Love Is" – Stacee, Constance
  9. "I Wanna Rock" – Drew, Wolfgang Von Colt
  10. "Pour Some Sugar on Me" – Stacee Jaxx
  11. "Harden My Heart" – Sherrie, Jaxx, Justice
  12. "Shadows of the Night/Harden My Heart" – Justice, Sherrie
  13. "Here I Go Again" – Drew, Paul, Sherrie, Justice, Stacee Jaxx
  14. "Can't Fight This Feeling" – Lonny, Dennis
  15. "Any Way You Want It" – Justice, Record executive, Sherrie, Paul, Drew
  16. "Undercover Lover" – Drew, the "Z Guyeezz", Sherrie
  17. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" – Sherrie, Drew, Stacee Jaxx, Justice
  18. "Rock You Like a Hurricane" (extended cut) - Sherrie, Stacee Jaxx
  19. "We Built This City/We're Not Gonna Take It" – Lonny, Patricia
  20. "Don't Stop Believin'" – Sherrie, Drew, Stacee Jaxx, Dennis, Lonny, Justice, Patricia
  21. "Paradise City" (end credits) – Tom Cruise
  22. "Rock You Like a Hurricane" (end credits) – Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise

These songs appear in the film as sung by the original artists. These do not appear on the official soundtrack.

Score production and changes

In bringing the musical from stage to screen, many of the songs used in the original musical were either moved around, shortened, or removed, while some new songs were added to the film.

"Cum On Feel the Noize/We're Not Gonna Take It (Reprise)", "The Final Countdown", "High Enough", "Beaver Hunt", "I Hate Myself for Loving You/Heat of the Moment", "Keep on Loving You", "Oh Sherrie", "The Search Is Over", and "Renegade" were completely cut from the film, although the version of "Cum on Feel the Noize" by Quiet Riot was used as background score and the intro to "Oh Sherrie" is heard briefly.

Similarly, many songs from the musical became mash-ups in the film or had sections of their original mash-up version removed in their film versions. "Just Like Paradise", "Nothin' but a Good Time", and "Sister Christian" all become one long mash-up instead of two individual songs ("Just Like Paradise/Nothin' but a Good Time" and "Sister Christian"). "Too Much Time on My Hands", originally mashed-up with "We Built This City", was removed, with "We're Not Gonna Take It", originally a full-length song in the musical, being mashed-up with "We Built This City" instead. "To Be with You" was removed from the mash-up that included "More Than Words" and "Heaven". The "I Wanna Rock (Reprise)" section originally mashed-up with "Any Way You Want It" was removed, with "Any Way You Want It" instead being the original full-length song.

Also, many songs from the original musical were reordered in the film, mostly to accommodate character and storyline changes. "We Built This City", in its original mash-up form, and "We're Not Gonna Take It" were originally much earlier in the musical, giving depth to Regina. They were replaced with "Hit Me with Your Best Shot", another song sung by Regina in the musical, which now served to give more background to new character Patricia (as Regina was cut from the film), with both songs (in an abridged form) instead added to the climax of the film, as part of an anthem between Lonny and the rockers and Patricia and her conservative church group. "I Wanna Rock", originally the fourth song of the musical, was moved to after "I Want to Know What Love Is" (which in itself was changed from a duet between Sherrie and Jaxx to Jaxx and new character Constance), with the song now representing Drew's anger toward what he wrongly perceives to be Sherrie's infidelity. "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and "More Than Words/Heaven" switched order in the film version, in order to accommodate the changes in the relationship storyline between Drew and Sherrie. "Can't Fight This Feeling" was also placed before "Any Way You Want It" due to the restructure of storylines.

New songs added to the film include a mash-up of "Juke Box Hero/I Love Rock 'n' Roll", which replaced the original purpose of "I Wanna Rock" in the musical, "Price of Love", which was used for Drew's short-lived boy band, and "Pour Some Sugar on Me", "Paradise City", and "Rock You Like a Hurricane" replacing "Beaver Hunt" and serving as Arsenal's discography.


Early development

After the success of the original Off-Broadway production, the film rights were sold to Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema.[3][4]


Tom Cruise played Stacee Jaxx in the film.[5] Shankman knew Cruise was in when he heard him on the first go around of his voice lesson, confirming he "actually has a fantastic voice."[6] Cruise, since, had been singing five hours a day to prepare for his work as musician Stacee Jaxx. "It's this brilliant mashup, it seems, of Axl Rose, Bret Michaels, Keith Richards and Jim Morrison," Shankman said of what to expect from Cruise.[7][8] All of the actors sing their own parts in the film.[9] Cruise himself told People Weekly Magazine that he had always wanted to appear in a musical but that, even so, he found the idea frightening because he was uncertain whether he could actually pull it off.[10] With Rock Of Ages, he told the interviewer, he had finally received his chance.

On February 14, 2011, it was announced that Mary J. Blige had signed on to play Justice Charlier in the film.[11] On March 3, 2011, it was confirmed that Julianne Hough (of the 2011 remake of Footloose) would play the role of Sherrie, Drew's love interest.[12] On March 6, 2011, it was confirmed that Alec Baldwin would play the role of Dennis Dupree in the film.[13] On March 24, 2011, it was announced that Paul Giamatti would be in the film, playing the manager of Stacee Jaxx.[14]

Pretty Little Liars star Diego Boneta was confirmed to play the male protagonist, Drew Boley, on April 5, 2011.[6] Not wanting an older actor to act like he is 23, Shankman thought it better to go as authentic as possible, "and Diego is absolutely that. He is [a] kid who came to Los Angeles with a dream and who sings and has an amazing voice, and drive. And he's also as honest and sweet as you can possibly make him and he's authentically the age. It creates a piece of something on screen that I don't have to fabricate."[6] Of Boneta's audition, Shankman said, "It's that feeling you get when you realized you've discovered lightning in a bottle. It reminds me of when Zac Efron auditioned for Hairspray, Channing Tatum for Step Up, and Liam Hemsworth auditioned for The Last Song. When the guy walks in, the guy walks in!" Shankman also said he did not know that Boneta was a Latin music star until after he auditioned. "I have since seen him on stage and in his concerts, and he totally owns the room," Shankman said.[7] Constantine Maroulis (Drew Boley from the musical) made a cameo appearance in the film like Ricki Lake did for Hairspray.[6] On April 13, Russell Brand was confirmed to portray Lonny.[15] Both Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams declined to play a journalist who interviews Jaxx during the song "Wanted Dead or Alive" and is easily seduced by him. The two declined due to scheduling conflicts, with Hathaway filming The Dark Knight Rises and Adams filming Man of Steel.[15] Catherine Zeta-Jones joined the cast on April 20, and portrayed an original character added to the story line. The unnamed character is described as "the Villainess of the movie" who "wants to shut down rock’n roll in the great city of Los Angeles."[16] On May 1 Bryan Cranston joined the cast as the Mayor of Los Angeles, who is the husband of Catherine Zeta-Jones's character,[17] and Malin Åkerman completed the cast when she was added on May 3, 2011, taking the role initially offered to both Hathaway and Adams.[18]

Singer Porcelain Black made a cameo in the film, playing a 1980s hair metal singer. She performed one of the sole original tracks for the film, "Rock Angels".[19][20] "Rock Angels" was written and composed by Adam Anders and Desmond Child.[21] Professional wrestler Kevin Nash played Stacee's bodyguard.[22]

Principal photography

Filming began at Revolution Live, a small music venue in Fort Lauderdale, FL.[23] There was also filming in a Dania Beach Boomers. On July 18, filming took place at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, for a concert scene with "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Wanted Dead or Alive".

The scenes at the iconic Hollywood Sign were filmed at the Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park, known to locals as "Mount Trashmore", in Pompano Beach.[23]

In June 2011, a full six-block section of N.W. 14th Street at North Miami Avenue in Downtown Miami was decorated as a late 1980s version set of the Hollywood, California Sunset Strip complete with the Whisky-a-Go-Go, Frederick's of Hollywood, Tower Records, Angelyne Billboard along with other landmarks.


The film is distributed by New Line Cinema under the rule of Warner Bros., and was released theatrically on June 15, 2012. The first official trailer was released on December 14, 2011,[24] attached to Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.


The film has received mixed to negative reviews from critics; the film has a 41% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 208 reviews; the consensus states "Its exuberant silliness is almost enough to make up for its utter inconsequentiality, but Rock of Ages is ultimately too bland and overlong to justify its trip to the big screen."[25]

However, most critics praised the performance by Cruise as Stacee Jaxx. For example, Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers wrote: "Rock of Ages is pretty fun despite a terrible script, bland leads and awful wigs, mainly thanks to a performance by Tom Cruise as fictional hair metal rocker Stacee Jaxx."[26]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result
ALMA Awards[27] Favorite Movie Actor Diego Boneta Won
Golden Trailer Awards[28] Best Comedy Nominated
Teen Choice Awards[29] Choice Summer Movie: Comedy/Musical Nominated
Choice Movie Breakout Julianne Hough Nominated
Choice Chemistry Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta Nominated
Grammy Awards[30] Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media Nominated

Box office

On its opening weekend in theaters, the film grossed $14,437,269, ranking third place, behind the previous week's holdovers Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Prometheus. The film did, however, do slightly better business than the other newcomer, That's My Boy.[31]

Rock of Ages was a Box office bomb, grossing $38,518,613 domestically and $20,900,000 internationally for a worldwide total of $59,418,613, failing to bring back its $75 million budget. However, the film still has the seventh-highest opening ever for a musical.[32]

Home media

Rock of Ages was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 9, 2012. An extended cut is available on the Blu-ray,[33] however there is a 2-disc DVD set featuring the extended version (136 minutes); the film is then rated R for "some sexual content", as opposed to the theatrically released PG-13.

This extended cut includes 13 additional minutes of footage, including "Rock You Like a Hurricane" edited back into the film, more risque humor from Russell Brand, and a few additional verses on "Waiting for a Girl/Boy Like You".


Rock of Ages: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released June 5, 2012 (June 5, 2012)
Genre Film soundtrack
Length 59:24
Label WaterTower Music
Producer Adam Anders
Peer Åström
Adam Shankman
Matt Sullivan[34]

The cover and track listing of the soundtrack was confirmed by Entertainment Weekly on April 30, 2012. The soundtrack was released on June 5, 2012.[35] It debuted at No. 15 on Billboard 200,[36] and peaked at No. 5 on that chart in its third week.[37] It also debuted at No. 1 on the Top Soundtracks chart. It sold 267,000 copies in the US in 2012, making it the second best-selling soundtrack album of the year.[38] It has sold 320,000 copies as of May 2013.[39]

  1. "Paradise City" – Tom Cruise
  2. "Sister Christian" / "Just Like Paradise" / "Nothin' but a Good Time" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin
  3. "Juke Box Hero" / "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" – Diego Boneta, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Julianne Hough
  4. "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" – Catherine Zeta-Jones
  5. "Waiting for a Girl Like You" – Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough
  6. "More Than Words" / "Heaven" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta
  7. "Wanted Dead or Alive" – Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough
  8. "I Want to Know What Love Is" – Tom Cruise, Malin Åkerman
  9. "I Wanna Rock" – Diego Boneta
  10. "Pour Some Sugar on Me" – Tom Cruise
  11. "Harden My Heart" – Julianne Hough, Mary J. Blige
  12. "Shadows of the Night" / "Harden My Heart" – Mary J. Blige, Julianne Hough
  13. "Here I Go Again" – Diego Boneta, Paul Giamatti, Julianne Hough, Mary J. Blige, Tom Cruise
  14. "Can't Fight This Feeling" – Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin
  15. "Any Way You Want It" – Mary J. Blige, Constantine Maroulis, Julianne Hough
  16. "Undercover Love" – Diego Boneta
  17. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Mary J. Blige
  18. "Rock You Like a Hurricane" – Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise
  19. "We Built This City" / "We're Not Gonna Take It" – Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones
  20. "Don't Stop Believin'" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Mary J. Blige


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[40] Gold 40,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ (12A)"Rock of Ages".  
  2. ^ a b c "Rock of Ages (2012) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ McBride, Walter. (2009-03-04). "Photo Coverage: 'ROCK OF AGES' Meets the Press". Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  4. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Shankman Will Direct Rock of Ages on Screen". 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  5. ^ Kit, Borys. (2011-02-11). "Tom Cruise Closing Deal to Co-Star in 'Rock of Ages'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  6. ^ a b c d Stransky, Tanner. "'Rock of Ages': Director Adam Shankman on casting Diego Boneta, putting Tom Cruise through 'rock-star boot camp'". Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  7. ^ a b Malkin, Marc (4 April 2011). "Julianne Hough Lands Herself a Rock Star, Plus Tom Cruise Channels Axl Rose and Keith Richards".  
  8. ^ "Tom Cruise Rock of Ages". Retrieved 2013. 
  9. ^ "Local news from Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, WA - Tri-City Herald". 
  10. ^ The full interview was published in the June 26, 2012 issue of People Weekly Magazine.
  11. ^ (2011-02-14). "Mary J. Blige Signs on for ROCK OF AGES Film". Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  12. ^ "Julianne Hough to Play Opposite Cruise in ROCK OF AGES Film". Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  13. ^ "'Rock of Ages' adds '30 Rock's' Alec Baldwin to the club". Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  14. ^ "Paul Giamatti joining Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin in 'Rock of Ages'". Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  15. ^ a b Hilton, Perez (13 April 2011). "Rock Of Ages Officially Welcomes Russell Brand In - But Amy Adams Is Out!".  
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (20 April 2011). "'"Catherine Zeta-Jones Joins 'Rock of Ages.  
  17. ^ "Bryan Cranston Joins Rock Of Ages". We Got This Covered. 
  18. ^ "Malin Akerman Joins Rock Of Ages". Deadline. 
  19. ^ Chapman, Alex. "Discovery: Porcelain Black". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  20. ^ Le Miere, Jason. "Exclusive Interview: Hot Chick in Hard Rock Porcelain Black".  
  21. ^ Weintraub, Steve "Frosty". "Director Adam Shankman Talks Turning Tom Cruise into Stacee Jaxx, Choosing Songs, and Much More on the Set of ROCK OF AGES". Collider.  
  22. ^ "Discovery: Porcelain Black - Page". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  23. ^ a b "Rock of Ages: How much South Florida will you see?". Sun Sentinel. 
  24. ^ "Rock Of Ages - Official Trailer [HD". YouTube. 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  25. ^ Rock of Ages at Rotten Tomatoes
  26. ^ "'"Peter Travers: Tom Cruise Lets Loose in 'Rock of Ages. Rolling Stone. 
  27. ^ "ALMA Awards 2012: Winners And Show Highlights (VIDEO, PHOTOS)".  
  28. ^ "The 13th Annual Golden Trailer Awards". Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  29. ^ Ng, Philiana (June 14, 2012). "Teen Choice Awards 2012: 'Breaking Dawn,' 'Snow White' Lead Second Wave of Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter (Prometheus Global Media). Archived from the original on June 14, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  30. ^ Brooks, Brian (December 6, 2012). The Hunger Games' And 'The Muppets' Top Grammy Awards Movie Nominees"'".  
  31. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for June 15-17, 2012 - Box Office Mojo". 
  32. ^ "Musical Movies Opening Weekends".  
  33. ^ (US - DVD R1 | BD) - DVDActive"Rock of Ages"News: . DVDActive. 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  34. ^ "Rock of Ages [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] - Original Soundtrack - Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  35. ^ Anderson, Kyle. Rock of Ages' soundtrack art and track listing revealed - EXCLUSIVE"'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  36. ^ Keith Caulfield (June 14, 2012). "Chart Moves: Hall & Oates' Highest Charting Album Since 1988 On Billboard 200, 'Rock of Ages' Soundtrack Debuts". Billboard. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  37. ^ Paul Grein (June 27, 2012). "Week Ending June 24, 2012. Albums: Thanks & Move Over". Chart Watch (Yahoo Music). 
  38. ^ Paul Grein (January 3, 2013). "Chart Watch Extra: Top Albums of 2012". Chart Watch (Yahoo Music). Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  39. ^ Mansfield, Brian (2013-05-08). Idol' sales: Jessica Sanchez, David Cook, more"'". Idol Chatter (USA Today). Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Rock of Ages".  
  41. ^ "Gold ANd Platinum Certifications Canada". January 2013, 15. Retrieved January 2013, 19. 

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