Weekend Report: 'Think Like a Man' Repeats, Four Openers Underwhelm
by Ray Subers
Think Like a Man
April 29, 2012
Four new nationwide releases landed with a thud this weekend, which allowed Think Like a Man to repeat atop the domestic box office chart. The Top 12 earned just $97.1 million on the final weekend in Spring 2012, which is obviously way off from the same frame last year when Fast Five opened to $86.2 million.
Think Like a Man fell 48 percent to $17.6 million. Through ten days in theaters, the movie has already made $60.5 million, which makes it the highest-grossing movie from April 2012 ahead of Titanic 3D ($56.3 million).
Based on Sunday estimates, The Pirates! Band of Misfits was the highest-grossing movie among the new releases, though that isn't really saying much—the stop-motion animation flick claimed second place with a meager estimated $11.1 million. That's lower than Arthur Christmas's $12.1 million debut in November, which makes it the worst opening ever for British production house Aardman Animation.
Considering Aardman's best opening ever is a paltry $18.8 million for Flushed Away, The Pirates! never really had a chance at becoming a major animated hit. It didn't help that outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, pirates haven't been remotely successful at the box office. Animated pirate movies in particular have a terrible track record: Treasure Planet is the top opener with $12.1 million, while Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is a notorious debacle for DreamWorks Animation with a terrible $6.9 million debut. Regardless, The Pirates! is still unimpressive given the dearth of family entertainment available right now.
According to Sony, 49 percent of the audience were children under the age of 12. Of those above the age of the 12, 54 percent were female. The movie received a "B" CinemaScore on Friday night. The Hunger Games eased a light 26 percent to $10.814 million. Through its sixth weekend, the movie has earned $372.1 million, which is good for 17th on the all-time chart. With The Avengers opening next weekend, The Hunger Games is likely to fade quickly from this point forward, though it still isn't going to have any problem finishing above Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($381 million).
On paper, it's baffling that The Five-Year Engagement opened so poorly. Segel is a likeable leading man who appeals to men and women, and he's carved out a solid following recently thanks to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You, Man and The Muppets. Add the Bridesmaids references that permeated all of the marketing materials, and this appeared to be perfect date night fodder.
There are two likely culprits for the poor performance. First, the movie wound up opening at a tricky point on the schedule—it was always assumed that The Avengers would suck some of the air out of the last weekend of April, but Think Like a Man's monopoly on date night audiences was less expected. Probably more relevant, though, was that the movie just didn't seem all that compelling to begin with. By calling it The Five-Year Engagement, the movie was pretty clearly announcing that the main couple (Segel and Emily Blunt) were going to be together in the beginning of the movie, and without making the engagement's road blocks look particularly challenging, the movie seemed devoid of any will-they-or-won't-they tension.
According to distributor Universal Pictures, The Five-Year Engagement's audience skewed overwhelmingly female (64 percent) and older (57 percent were over the age of 30), and the movie received a poor "B-" CinemaScore.
In sixth place, Jason Statham's latest action movie Safe debuted to $7.9 million. That's less than last year's The Mechanic ($11.4 million) and Killer Elite ($9.4 million), but at least it was above Crank: High Voltage ($7 million). Outside of Statham kicking ass, there never seemed to be any reason to see Safe, and so it only wound up attracting die-hard Statham fans. According to Lionsgate, the audience was 58 percent male and 73 percent over the age of 25, and they awarded the movie a "B+" CinemaScore.
The Raven came in last place among the newcomers with $7.3 million. It opened lower than nearly all comparable movies, including director James McTeigue's V for Vendetta ($23.1 million) and 2001's period serial killer movie From Hell ($11 million). Exit polls indicate the audience skewed a bit male (52 percent) and older (59 percent were 25 years and up). The movie wound up with a "B" CinemaScore, though that improved to an "A-" among the under-25 crowd.