Friday Report: 'Think Like a Man' Takes the Lead

by Ray Subers
Think Like a Man

April 21, 2012

In the three week contest to see what movie could defeat The Hunger Games, movies like Wrath of the Titans, American Reunion, and Titanic 3D all could have been contenders. When it became clear that none of these titles were going to get the job done, it was widely assumed that The Lucky One would finally defeat Katniss this weekend. While the Zac Efron/Nicholas Sparks tearjerker did out-gross The Hunger Games on Friday, though, it was surprise hit Think Like a Man that officially put an end to The Hunger Games four-week reign at the top of the box office.

The adaptation of Steve Harvey's self-help book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man took first place on Friday with a huge $12.2 million opening. That's a higher start than nearly all comparable titles—it beat all Tyler Perry movies with the exception of Madea Goes to Jail, and it scored the highest-opening ever for a Screen Gems title geared towards African-American audiences (ahead of 2009's Obsessed).

Think Like a Man received a strong "A" CinemaScore (which improved to an "A+" among men and among all moviegoers under the age of 25), and it will almost certainly earn over $30 million for the weekend. That will make it the third first place opener for Screen Gems this year following Underworld Awakening and The Vow, and Sony's third $30 million debut after The Vow and 21 Jump Street.

The Lucky One settled for second place with an estimated $9.1 million. That's the second-highest opening day ever for a Nicholas Sparks adaptation behind Dear John ($13.8 million), and the movie also sold significantly more tickets than The Notebook. It did wind up slightly behind Efron comedy 17 Again ($9.4 million), which opened at the same time in 2009. The Lucky One looks to be on pace for a very solid $22 million weekend.

After 28 days on top, The Hunger Games dropped down to third place on Friday with an estimated $4 million (a light 38 percent decline). The movie now ranks 20th on the all-time domestic chart with $346.4 million, and will almost certainly pass $350 million sometime today.

Chimpanzee played surprisingly well on Friday. Disneynature's fourth documentary opened to $3.54 million, which is a bit better than African Cats's $3.3 million opening day. That movie had the advantage of debuting on Earth Day, though, which falls on Sunday this year (Chimpanzee should expect a nice bump that day). Chimpanzee also scored the best opening day for a Disneynature movie since Earth debuted to $4 million on Earth Day 2009. For the weekend, Chimpanzee should end up with over $10 million.

The Cabin in the Woods dropped 55 percent to an estimated $2.48 million on Friday. That's not terrible considering the horror comedy is coming off a Friday the 13th opening and had a terrible "C" CinemaScore. Through eight days in theaters, the Joss Whedon production has earned $21.7 million.

With Chimpanzee taking more of the family audience than expected, The Three Stooges plummeted 59 percent to an estimated $2.3 million. The Farrelly Brothers adaptation has so far grossed $22.4 million.

Related Stories:
Efron, Harvey Should Finally Defeat 'Hunger Games'

Related Chart:
Grosses for Friday, April 20, 2012

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WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Halloween' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'Halloween' #1
WEEKLY: 'Venom' Tops the Week with $45.9m
DAILY: Thursday 10/18 (58 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 10/17 (34 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 10/16 (41 tracked)
New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 10/15 (35 tracked)