Sony’s comedy sequel Think Like a Man Too had no issue overtaking the North American box office this weekend. The comedy earned more than double the amount brought in by fellow newcomer Jersey Boys, which had an off-key debut in fourth place. Last week’s champ 22 Jump Street moved down to second place but actual figures may push that film back to number one come tomorrow. Overall, the summer 2014 box office continued to underperform thanks to the ongoing World Cup Soccer matches and a lack of must-see product. The top ten was down 21% from last weekend at this time and a steep 39% from 2013.
Two years ago, the $12 million Think Like a Man became a late-spring sleeper hit, opening to a whopping $33.6 million from 2,015 theaters and a great $91.5 million final tally. Given the popularity of the film’s African-American ensemble cast –in particular comedian Kevin Hart- and it’s large profit scale, it was no surprise that there was a sequel in the works almost immediately.
Reuniting the cast and director (Tim Story) of the first film while shifting the location to Las Vegas (and featuring Hart more prominently in the ads), the $24 million Think Like a Man Too earned a sizeable $30 million from 2,225 screens for a solid $13,483 per screen average.
Fans ignored the largely negative reviews (22% on Rotten Tomatoes) to see the second film based on the best-selling Steve Harvey book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. The big attendance numbers may be short-lived however ifthe attendance drops on Saturday and Sunday (15% and 30%, respectively) are any indication. Should the movie continue to slide, it will finish well below the original’s $91 million.
Another comedy sequel from Sony, 22 Jump Street, held up well in its second go around on 3,306 screens. The Channing Tatum/Jonah Hill smash eased 49% to earn a healthy $29 million this weekend to bring its ten-day domestic total to $111.4 million. The Sony smash should finish near the $175 million mark. Overseas, the film has earned $38.2 million thus far.
After opening with okay numbers last weekend Fox/Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon 2 had another so-so weekend with an estimated $25.3 million in its sophomore session on 4,268 screens. Off 49%, the well-reviewed sequel has earned $95 million thus far and should land near the $150 million Stateside, well below the original’s $217 million total four years ago and a big disappointment given that it is the only family film in the market right now. Early foreign totals stand at $36 million.
Arriving with surprisingly little fanfare in fourth place was Clint Eastwood’s film version of the long-running Broadway hit Jersey Boys. The Clint-directed musical, which chronicles the rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and stars John Lloyd Young, Christopher Walken and Vincent Piazza, arrived on 2,905 screens to meet with mixed reviews (54% Rotten Tomatoes approval rating) and public indifference. The $40 million Warner Brothers release earned a meek $13.5 million in its first three days for a mild per screen average of $4,652.
The R-rated feature played largely to an adult audience, who turned out in encouraging numbers during Friday matinees but disappeared as the day went on. The film’s business went up a mere 12% on Saturday, which may be an indication that opening day view feedback was mild at best for Eastwood’s first directorial effort in nearly three years. The low turnout for the musical drama is the second disappointment for Warner Brothers in a row following the underwhelming debut of its Tom Cruise action epic Edge of Tomorrow three weeks ago.
Rounding out the top five this weekend was Disney’s smash hit Maleficent. The Angelina Jolie-blockbuster continues to stand its ground at the box office as it continues its march toward $200 million mark and beyond. Now in its fourth weekend of release the PG-rated fantasy slid a mere 30% from last weekend to earn $13 million from 3,450 screens to bring its total to $186 million domestically. Overseas the film has bagged a big $335 million to date. Maleficent looks to finish with just over $600 million in global sales.
The remainder of the box office is as follows:
6. Edge of Tomorrow (Warner) $10.3 million (-37%); $74.5 million
7. The Fault in Our Stars (Fox) $8.6 million (-42%); $98.7 million
8. X-Men: Days of Future Past (Fox) $6.2 million (-37%); $217 million
9. Chef (Open Road Films) $1.84 million (-16%); $17 million
10. Godzilla (2014 –Warner) $1.82 million (-45%); $195 million
So far this season Hollywood has not had a single film gross north of $250 million domestically. That should change starting on Friday as the latest Transformers film from director Michael Bay, Transformers: Age of Extinction, arrives on over 4,000 screens to command the following week’s 4th of July box office frame.