The much-hyped Adam Shankman film, adapted from the popular Broadway musical of the same name, grossed a disappointing $15.1 million (£9.44 million) in its first week of release, despite boasting Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Julianne Hough, Russell Brand and Mary J. Blige in its cast.
The latest Madagascar sequel, featuring characters voiced by Ben Stiller and Chris Rock, held on to number one for a second week, taking another $35.5 million (£22.19 million), while Sir Ridley Scott's Alien prequel Prometheus also saw off Rock of Ages with $20.2 million (£12.63 million).
Snow White and the Huntsman was in fourth, with Adam Sandler's new comedy That's My Boy rounding out the top five.
The blonde beauty admits she was turned off by the idea of hitting the big screen in another music-themed movie after parts in Burlesque and 2011's Footloose remake, and instead wanted to test her talents with a straight-up drama.
She tells the New York Daily News, "At first I was like, 'Yeah, I don't think I want to do another musical... Of course, you have to get your foot in the door somehow, so Burlesque and Footloose made sense. But I wanted to expand and grow as an actress."
But she had a change of heart as soon as director Adam Shankman revealed the Mission: Impossible actor had signed up to lead the star-studded cast.
She recalls, "He said, 'You know, Tom Cruise is in it.' And I was like, 'Right - I'll do one more (musical)!'"
Hough will be able to test her drama skills in her next film - she plays a Christian evangelist with burns over two-thirds of her body in screenwriter Diablo Cody's untitled directorial debut.
The former Dancing With the Stars regular, who stars in Tom Cruise's new movie Rock of Ages, admits she can't believe she beat out other leading ladies to portray a Christian evangelist with burns over two-thirds of her body.
She tells WENN, "I play a burn survivor trying to find out who she is all over again. It was one of those movies where you become so grateful and you just want to be a really nice person and know everybody's name. It was one of those times in my life where I will always remember that role.
"I went back to a time when I was five years old, when I loved life; the film changed me. Every day I told Diablo, 'Thank you so much for giving me this role because every girl in Hollywood wanted it.'
"She could have had anybody she wanted and she went with a dancer chick."
"I play a Christian evangelist with burns over two-thirds of her body. No one will want to see my body in that." Actress Julianne Hough insists fans won't want her to strip off like she has in Footloose and new film Rock of Ages in her next movie, screenwriter Diablo Cody's untitled directorial debut.
"You have no idea how hot Tom is. There's this one number, he sings Pour Some Sugar (on Me) and Def Leppard was in there, we were all watching... Just thinking about it now, I'm, like, getting chills... He looks like Anthony Kiedis." Actress Julianne Hough was stunned by Rock of Ages co-star Tom Cruise's rock-ability.
Director Adam Shankman was forced to cut a saucy lapdance scene between Julianne Hough and Tom Cruise from the Rock Of Ages movie after female audience members reacted negatively to it during test screenings.
Hough portrays aspiring singer Sherrie Christian in the film, and one take required the blonde beauty to grind up against Cruise as ageing rock star Stacee Jaxx.
But the scene appeared to turn off viewers during promo screenings and Shankman decided to axe the clip due to its "steamy" nature.
During an interview on Live! With Kelly on Wednesday (06Jun12), Hough revealed, "I like to call it a musical lapdance where we're singing and dancing. It got cut 'cause apparently mothers didn't like Sherrie Christian after that... It was a little too hot and sexy and steamy."
But Hough is not upset by the editing decision, because she will always be able to boast about her sexy superstar encounter: "I'll always have that in my back pocket, that I gave Tom Cruise a lapdance."
However, fans of Hough won't miss out completely - they will be able to catch the scene in question on the director's cut of the DVD release.
The lapdance wasn't the only big scene of Hough's left on the cutting room floor - a rushed shoot on the Hollywood sign that left her dazed and bruised was also bumped from the final edit.
The Footloose star, who attended school in London, landed a small cameo as a Hogwarts student in 2001's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and fell in love with the leading actor.
The then-11-year-old Hough decided to profess her love for Radcliffe by sending him a soft toy on Valentine's Day.
But Hough never received a reply and the now-23 year old admits she is still too horrified to reintroduce herself to the British star.
During an interview on Live! With Kelly on Wednesday (06Jun12), she said, "I was kind of in love... I wrote him a love note when I was 11 years old. It was Valentine's, got him the Valentino Beanie Baby...
"(I) never heard back. And now I'm really embarrassed. I see him sometimes, around, and I just turn the other way and walk away. I'm too nervous (to reintroduce myself)."
Hough is now dating TV personality Ryan Seacrest.
A rushed Hollywood sign shoot that left Julianne Hough dazed and bruised has been cut from new movie musical Rock Of Ages.
Director Adam Shankman reveals the scene in question was part of a dream sequence - and Hough and the crew hit the famous Los Angeles landmark just before dawn to capture the beauty of a sunrise.
But filming left his leading lady nursing a few bumps and scrapes.
Shankman explains, "(Star) Diego Boneta fantasises about her character in a nightie dancing on the Hollywood sign. We didn't start shooting it until four in the morning and we were chasing the light.
"There's a metal railing on the platform where she was dancing and she did a bunch of turns and then had to throw her body backwards against the metal railing and she popped her head back and slammed her head against the metal railing. She just kept going and she did it twice!
"She's a brilliant dancer and was really going for it and it was late and it was her skull against metal. We just stopped for 15 minutes to let her get her bearings. She wasn't seriously injured but she had a headache for a couple of days.
"Unfortunately we had to cut the scene from the movie."
"It was my wrap and good luck gift, which I think is more his gift than mine." Actress Julianne Hough on the stripper pole she was was given after filming Rock of Ages. She insists it's more a present for boyfriend Ryan Seacrest.
Julianne Hough has co-star Tom Cruise's no-nonsense attitude to thank for saving her dancing career - because he insisted on letting her rest after a serious spinal injury on the set of Rock Of Ages.
The Footloose star was ready to work through the pain after tweaking her neck and dislodging ribs following two days of extensive dancing with the Top Gun star - but Cruise insisted on shutting the sequence down.
Hough says, "I was practising this dance number with Tom for two days straight. I was totally fine and didn't hurt myself and it was, like, 18-hour days dancing hardcore. But the next day I turned my head and it went, 'Foo!'
"I was at the point where I had to lay on my back and just breathe. I couldn't turn my head; it was tilted to the left. Tom was really cool because I actually hurt myself. I'd never hurt myself or injured myself dancing and I tweaked my neck and had three ribs out on my left and three ribs out on my right, and my whole spine was like an 'S' and my hips were out of place.
"I've got that dancer mentality, like, 'I can keep going; I'm fine.' He's like, 'Julianne, this is what insurance is for. You've got a very long career ahead of you and a very long shoot ahead of you. Stop, and leave it to me.'
"I was like, 'Tom Cruise cares about me!' I had a Tom Cruise rescue."