At just 2,015 theaters, "Think Like a Man" looked to be in position for a mild opening, but the Sony/Screen Gems distribution instead proved its commercial potential by hauling in $33 million over the weekend, easily enough to knock "The Hunger Games" out of the top spot. Also opening fairly strong was "The Lucky One," which put together the second biggest opening for a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks book with a studio estimated $22.8 million. Despite another strong weekend, "The Hunger Games" slipped to number three on the charts with $14.50 million.
After four straight weeks of seeing "The Hunger Games" end up as the top box office draw, it looked like "The Lucky One" was the only new release in position to finally take over the top of the charts. With minimal critical backing and a limited release, "Think Like a Man" instead ended up as one of the biggest surprises of the year, as the PG-13 comedy hauled in an impressive $16,377 per venue.
With a budget of just $12 million, "Think Like a Man" is already a substantial hit for Sony/Screen Gems even if it struggles in the coming weeks. Aimed predominately at African-American audiences and with a similar release size as Tyler Perry's releases, "Think Like a Man" will likely see a large slide in its second weekend, which has been typical for Perry releases as well over the years. But even with a big dip in weekend number two, it looks like "Think Like a Man" should be able to easily top $50 million domestically in its first ten days, a large total for a low budget, limited release.
While "Think Like a Man" was a hit with adults looking for some comedy over the weekend, those looking for some romance turned to "The Lucky One," helping it put together a solid $22.81 million opening weekend. 2010's "Dear John" was the only other Nicholas Sparks adaptation that has crossed $20 million in opening revenue, showing that "The Lucky One" has definitely clicked with its target audience.
Though it's very unlikely that "The Lucky One" will truly catch on the way that "Dear John" did, it also doesn't have too much direct competition next weekend, likely allowing for a very solid second weekend in theaters. Look for "The Lucky One" to remain a strong draw until the summer release schedule begins in a couple of weeks, which should be enough for it to put together a decent April total.
As "The Lucky One" and "Think Like a Man" both hit big with their intended demographics, "The Hunger Games" continued to roll as well. In its fifth weekend in theaters, "The Hunger Games" finally dropped from the top spot but still dipped just 31.3% from the previous weekend's figures, showing that the fan base has remained very strong. Though the foreign numbers haven't been as big as anticipated, "The Hunger Games" is now up to $356 million domestically and Lionsgate should see bigger foreign totals with sequel "Catching Fire," which is slated to hit theaters in November 2013.
The weekend was also likely the last that R-rated comedy "21 Jump Street" will land in the top ten after a very nice box office run up until this point. Launched in mid-March, "21 Jump Street" clicked with adult audiences from the get-go, helping push its domestic total to $127 million already. Over the weekend, "21 Jump Street" also surpassed "Safe House" to be the top R-rated release of 2012 and things are looking good for a potential sequel featuring stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.
Next weekend, John Cusack's thriller "The Raven" is among the most prominent new titles hitting theaters, followed by Jason Statham's latest R-rated thriller "Safe" and family film "The Pirates! Band of Misfits." Following in the footsteps of "Bridesmaids," R-rated comedy "The Five-Year Engagement" is also getting launched, with Jason Segel and Emily Blunt co-starring.
Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 4/20/12 - 4/22/12 (In Millions):
1. Think Like a Man (Sony/Screen Gems): $33 [$8]
2. The Lucky One (Warner Brothers): $22.81 [$19]
3. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate): $14.50 [$14.7]
4. Chimpanzee (Buena Vista): $10.21 [$5.8]
5. The Three Stooges (Fox): $9.20 [$8.5]
6. The Cabin in the Woods (Lionsgate): $7.75 [$8.6]
7. American Reunion (Universal): $5.20 [$5.1]
8. Titanic 3D (Paramount): $5 [$6.3]
9. 21 Jump Street (Sony/Columbia): $4.60 [$3.8]
10. Mirror Mirror (Relativity): $4.11 [$3.7]
by RTT Staff Writer
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