Look guys, sometimes box office articles just need four headlines!
In this case, the under-performance of The Five-Year Engagement wasn’t the only big story this weekend. Think Like A Man notched a very strong sophomore frame, The Hunger Games reached a truly remarkable milestone, and The Avengers flexed their muscles internationally. Oh, and Safe and The Raven also entered theaters. We’ve got a lot to talk about! Here’s how the box office shook out:
Ensemble comedy Think Like A Man, an adaptation of Steve Harvey’s famous advice book, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, dropped by 46 percent to $18 million – enough to easily top the box office for a second frame in a row. Compared to other comedies with predominantly African-American casts, Think Like A Man’s second weekend drop is quite strong. Recent titles like Jumping the Broom and Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds fell by 55 percent and 54 percent, respectively, in their sophomore frames.
Think Like A Man maintained a robust per theater average of $8,933, which was over twice as much as the average for any other film in the Top 20. After ten days, Think has earned $60.9 million, and it now seems headed for a finish near $90 million. Not too shabby for a film that cost Sony just $12 million to produce!
There’s another Sony title in second place. Aardman Animation’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits earned $11.4 million over its first three days. The $55 million stop-motion animation has already earned $63.7 million overseas, so it didn’t need a gigantic debut Stateside to sail to profitability.
The film, which earned a “B” CinemaScore grade benefited greatly from the lack of other family films at the box office. 76 percent of Pirates’ audience were children under 12 (49 percent) and parents (27 percent), and it’s big Friday-to-Saturday jump from $2.8 million to $5.1 million (85 percent) is indicative of family playability. Interestingly, despite the beardy cast and swashbuckling storyline, only 46 percent of the audience was male, though, which means that women made up the predominant audience for the Top 5 films at the box office this weekend.
The Zac Efron/Taylor Schilling romance The Lucky One finished in third place with $11.3 million – a drop of 50 percent. After ten days, the Nicholas Sparks adaptation has earned $39.9 million – already a much better total than the last Efron-led picture, Charlie St. Cloud, which grossed just $31.2 million in its entire 2010 run.
Close behind, The Hunger Games dipped by a tiny 23 percent and earned $11.3 million in its sixth weekend on the chart. With a running total of $372.5 million, the franchise-launching blockbuster is now officially performing ahead of the highest-grossing Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, which had earned $366 million at the same point in its run. Worldwide, Hunger Games’ impressive $601 million total doesn’t compare to Potter’s grosses, but one can only wonder how high numbers will climb by the time The Hunger Games Saga: Catching Fire - Part 2 (Section B) in IMAX 3D finally hits theaters in 2016.
The Five-Year Engagement settled for a fifth place debut (although every movie from No. 2 to No. 5 could shuffle around over the next 24 hours) with $11.2 million. While many prognosticators (like this one) thought the film would top the chart, Universal claims it was always expecting an opening in the low double-digits. Still, the result seems very disappointing given the massive success of Bridesmaids, which earned $169 million last year, and the date night-viability of 2012 titles like The Vow and The Lucky One. The Emily Blunt/Jason Segel rom-com earned a lackluster “B-” CinemaScore grade from polled audiences, which were 64 percent female. Fortunately, the film cost a modest $30 million to produce.
Two thrillers failed to ignite much excitement at the box office this weekend. Jason Statham’s latest,Safe, notched a weak $7.7 million – a low start even for Statham – while John Cusack’s Edgar Allen Poe-themed effort The Raven couldn’t escape its sepulcher down by the sea. It found only $7.3 million. Audiences gave Safe a “B+” CinemaScore grade and The Raven a “B.”
Overseas, the big story is Marvel’s The Avengers, which broke the opening weekend record in 12 countries, including Mexico ($15.9 million) and Brazil ($11.3 million). The Disney-distributed superhero title has now grossed a stunning $178.4 million in just five days – and it still hasn’t hit powerhouse markets China, Russia, or Japan. This bodes very well for The Avengers’ U.S. debut next weekend. Will it break the opening weekend record?
1. Think Like A Man – $18 million
2. The Pirates! Band of Misfits – $11.4 million
3. The Lucky One – $11.3 million
4. The Hunger Games – $11.3 million
5. The Five-Year Engagement – $11.2 million
Check back next weekend to see how much The Avengers actually makes, and follow me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute box office updates.