Box Office Recap: New releases beat out ‘Hunger Games’

It was widely predicted that this would be the weekend The Hunger Games would slip from the number one spot after four weeks at the top of the box office charts. The question was which movie would beat it out. Would it be ensemble romantic comedy Think Like a Man or The Lucky One, which stars Zac Efron as a Marine/internet stalker?

If you guessed Think Like a Man based on the above picture, you’d be correct. The adaptation of Steve Harvey’s relationship advice book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man grossed a surprising $33 million in its opening weekend, a great success considering its $12 million budget. The rom-com captured its target demographics, 62 percent of its audience was 30 or older and 63 percent was female.

I think this is the part where I’m supposed to compare Think Like a Man to the work of Tyler Perry and other “African-American themed films” or “urban comedies.” Let’s skip that noise.

The Lucky One, which is the seventh (that’s right, seventh) film adapted from a Nicolas Sparks novel came in second place with $22.8 million. Dear John is the only Sparks adaptation to make more in its opening weekend, grossing $30.5 million in February 2010. Now for this week’s edition of statistics that surprise no one: 76 percent of The Lucky One’s audience was female and 52 percent was less than 25 years old.

What’s interesting here is The Lucky One was released in 3,155 theaters while Think Like a Man saw only 2,015 screens. Furthermore, while the latter’s weekend earnings nearly tripled its budget, the former didn’t quite grab back the $25 million it cost to produce.

The Hunger Games toppled back to Earth, coming in third after 4 straight weeks at the top, the longest streak since Avatar’s seven weeks at #1. The adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ 2008 novel reigned in $14.5 million, bringing its cumulative domestic earnings to $357 million. It’s now in the top 20 domestic grossing films of all time.

Three top movies, three book adaptations. You might think your high school English teacher would be happy about this news. Trust me, he’s dying a little inside.

In fourth place was Disney’s latest nature documentary, Chimpanzee. Its $10 million gross is the largest opening weekend for a Disneynature film so far, beating out the $8.8 million Earth made in 2009. Disneynature will donate 20 cents per ticket sold during the film’s opening week (4/20-4/26) to the Jane Goodall Institute.

Also of note is the relative success of Magnolia Pictures’ Marley. The documentary about legendary musician Bob Marley has been “certified fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes with a rating of 93 percent. Marley saw limited release, opening in just 42 theaters, yet earned more than a quarter million dollars.

In an interview with Deadline Hollywood, Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said Marley was #1 “in all but a handful of complexes and usually by multiples over the next highest film.”

Here are the results for this week’s top 10 at the box office:

Title/Weeks in release/Theater count, Studio/Three-day weekend total/Cume

1. Think Like a Man, 1/2,015, Sony, $33 million
2. The Lucky One, 1/3,155, Warner Bros., $22.8 million
3. The Hunger Games, 5/3,752, Lionsgate, $14.5 million, $357 million.
4. Chimpanzee, 1/1,563, Disney, $10.2 million.
5. The Three Stooges, 2/3,482, $9.2 million, $29.4 million.
6. The Cabin in the Woods, 2/2,811, Lionsgate/MGM, $7.8 million, $27 million.
7. American Reunion, 3/3,003, Universal, $5.2 million, $48.3 million.
8. Titanic 3D, 3/2,505, Paramount/Fox, $5 million, $42.8 million.
9. 21 Jump Street, 6/2,427, Sony/MGM, $4.6 million, $127.1 million.
10. Mirror Mirror, 4/2,930, Relativity, $4.1 million, $55.2 million.

  

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