Weekend Box Office (April 20 - 22, 2012)
THIS WEEKEND Proving for the umpteenth time that African American casts can bring in the big bucks, Sony's Think Like a Man exploded into the top spot at the box office while the romance of The Lucky One debuted solidly in second. Both films knocked 4-time champ The Hunger Games from the top slot.
Based on the bestselling book by Steve Harvey, Think Like a Man dominated the box office with a stellar $33.6M opening this weekend, according to final studio figures, for a powerful $16,693 average. Starring Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart and Taraji P. Henson (amongst others), the film managed to make back its entire production budget (approximately $12M) in its first day in theaters. The industry should no longer be surprised when a film starring a primarily African American cast proves successful at the box office, but instead should be asking why more of them aren't made. There is obviously a large audience ready to devour these films. Reviews were mixed but audiences dug what they saw, giving the film an A grade at CinemaScore. This was also the fourth number one film of the year for Sony, following Underworld: Awakening, The Vow and 21 Jump Street.
Debuting in second place was the latest film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, The Lucky One which brought in $22.5M this weekend, for an average of $7,137. As expected, the film played mostly to young women, with an audience breakdown of 76% female, and 52% under the age of 25. Reviews were mostly poor, but people who are suckers for romance didn't care as the film garnered a CinemaScore grade of a B+.
Making it a book-to-film trifecta, following its four-week reign at the top - the first film since Avatar to do that - the spring juggernaut The Hunger Games continued to pull in solid business by sliding only 31% to $14.7M in its fifth round. The Lionsgate smash upped its cume to a staggering $357.1M allowing Katniss and pals to rise up to number 19 on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters ahead of the $352.4M of last summer's 3D threequel Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The next films to fall to the icy stare of Katniss will be Jurassic Park ($357M), and then Jesus himself in The Passion of the Christ ($370.8M).
Disney's yearly Earth Day documentary Chimpanzee opened nicely at number four this weekend with $10.7M. The film opened higher than the Earth Day films from the past three years which included Earth in 2009 ($8.8M opening/$32M total), 2010's Oceans ($6M/$19.4M) and last year's African Cats ($6M/$15.4M). I fully expect next year for Disney to hit their pinnacle with a documentary on puppies and kittens putting the past behind them and living together in harmony.
The Three Stooges stumbled to fifth place dropping 43% to $9.8M giving Fox $29.9M after ten days. Look for a final gross in the $45M range for Larry, Moe and Curly (but not Shemp). Falling 46% in its sophomore round was the horror flick The Cabin in the Woods with $8M for a $27.2M ten-day cume for Lionsgate. Look for a finale in the $40M range. Universal's comedy fourquel American Reunion collected $5.5M, off 48%, and has lifted its tally to $48.5M, which is about what American Pie 2 made in its opening weekend nearly 11 years ago.
James Cameron's Titanic 3D fell a steep 58% to $5M and has collected $52.9M for Paramount during this run. Somehow I don't imagine Cameron or the studio feel too badly about the dip as the lifetime total now stands at $653.6M. Sony's hit comedy 21 Jump Street fared well again dropping only 28% to $4.8M for an impressive $127.2M take to date. The stylish fairy tale adventure Mirror Mirror declined by 36% grossing $4.4M for a $55.5M sum.
The top ten films grossed $118.9M which was up 4% from last when Rio stayed in the top spot with $26.3M; and up 39% from 2010 when How To Train Your Dragon reclaimed number one with $15.4M in its fifth frame.
Compared to projections, Think Like a Man, The Lucky One, and Chimpanzee all opened well ahead of my respective forecasts of $17M, $17M, and $7M.
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For a review of The Hunger Games visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Five-Year Engagement, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, The Raven, and Safe all try and make a few dollars before the summer movie season kicks off with The Avengers on May 4th.
|#||Title||Apr 20 - 22||Apr 13 - 15||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Think Like a Man||$ 33,636,303||2,015||1||$ 16,693||$ 33,636,303||Sony|
|2||The Lucky One||22,518,358||3,155||1||7,137||22,518,358||Warner Bros.|
|3||The Hunger Games||14,666,007||21,096,824||-30.5||3,752||5||3,909||357,066,467||Lionsgate|
|5||The Three Stooges||9,764,214||17,010,125||-42.6||3,482||2||2,804||29,919,660||Fox|
|6||The Cabin in the Woods||8,016,075||14,743,614||-45.6||2,811||2||2,852||27,246,247||Lionsgate|
|9||21 Jump Street||4,750,986||6,558,868||-27.6||2,427||6||1,958||127,217,167||Sony|
|11||Wrath of the Titans||3,922,412||6,906,209||-43.2||2,502||4||1,568||77,232,955||Warner Bros.|
|14||Salmon Fishing in the Yemen||688,465||888,546||-22.5||446||7||1,544||7,077,214||CBS|
|15||Journey 2: The Mysterious Island||609,781||721,427||-15.5||444||11||1,373||101,238,907||Warner Bros.|
|17||The Raid: Redemption||473,657||961,454||-50.7||548||5||864||3,494,568||Sony Classics|
|18||To The Arctic||270,228||50||1||5,405||270,228||Warner Bros.|
|Top 5||$ 91,258,630||$ 75,254,622||21.3|
|Top 20 vs. 2011||131,080,868||131,222,389||-0.1|
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: April 24, 2012 at 11:20AM ET
Watch Gitesh Pandya's weekly box office preview on CNN International airing live each Thursday at 7:40pm ET.