‘Think Like a Man’ ends ‘Hunger Games’ streak
The box office competition finally overwhelmed “The Hunger Games” as the romantic comedy “Think Like a Man” beat expectations with a chart-topping $33.0 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales over the weekend.
Love story “The Lucky One” also exceeded forecasts to finish second with $22.8 million from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates. The two films pushed the blockbuster “Hunger Games” to third, ending its four-week streak at No. 1.
“Think Like a Man” is based on comedian Steve Harvey’s best-selling, non-fiction relationship guide “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.”
The movie follows four couples trying to work out various issues and stars Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Romany Malco, hip-hop singer Chris Brown and Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson. Harvey was executive producer and has a small role playing himself.
The film cost a modest $13 million to make, and received positive feedback in pre-release screenings, said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony Corp’s Sony Pictures studio.
“We definitely felt like we had a hit coming,” Bruer said. Still, the weekend performance “exceeded everyone’s expectations,” he said.
Audiences gave “Think Like a Man” an “A” grade in polling by survey firm CinemaScore.
“The Lucky One” tells the story of a U.S. Marine who returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, convinced that the one thing that kept him safe and alive was a photograph of a beautiful woman he found in the rubble of war.
It also was based on a book, a 2008 best-seller from well-known “Notebook” author Nicholas Sparks. The movie stars Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling and cost about $25 million to produce.
Efron’s female fan base helped the movie beat forecasts. Fifty-seven percent of moviegoers polled said the actor was their top reason for seeing the film, said Jeff Goldstein, executive vice president of domestic distribution for Time Warner Inc’s <TWX.N> Warner Bros. studio.
“The Lucky One” added $3.8 million from nine international markets, bringing its global debut to $26.6 million.
“Hunger Games,” the smash hit about an oppressive society’s televised teen death match, took in an estimated $14.5 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters during the weekend. Global sales for the film from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp reached $572.7 million since its release.
The weekend’s other new movie, nature documentary “Chimpanzee,” finished in fourth place with $10.2 million. It scored the highest opening among four films released by Walt Disney Co’s <DIS.N> Disneynature film unit, which makes wildlife movies and supports conservation efforts.
Comedy “The Three Stooges,” from News Corp’s 20th Century Fox studio, finished fifth with $9.2 million.
Also this weekend, action movie “Battleship” pulled in $58.4 million during its second weekend in international markets and brought its total to $129.6 million. The movie from Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures opens in the United States and Canada on May 18.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Jason Redmond