The Reject Report - Large

A chimpanzee, Zac Efron, Steve Harvey, and Katniss – Not Jennifer Lawrence – all have their palms on a brand new Dodge Challenger. Hemi. The last person with their hand on the car wins it, and, unfortunately for Katniss – Still not Jennifer Lawrence – who could afford 10 Dodge Challengers right now – the game’s been going for four days straight.

She’s exhausted. The other players are all fresh, and a few of them have heavy fan support. Who will walk away with this magnificent car or the claim of #1 at the box office if you’re into the whole analogy thing? One things for certain. The chimpanzee was already distracted by a low-hanging branch. Let the contest begin.

Breakdown

The Lucky One

  • With the widest opening this weekend, it would appear The Lucky One has the slight edge. It has another one to add alongside. Zac Efron is his name, and getting the female demographic into theater seats is his game. The $12.3m opening take of his similar film, Charlie St. Cloud, doesn’t exactly induce excitement to see what he capable of, but Warners still has faith in him.
  • The studio is dropping The Lucky One in 3,155 screens, and there’s a perfectly good reason why. WB and Efron have had serious success with this mid-April release date. In 2009, 17 Again came in with $23.7m, the biggest opening they’ve had with the young star. With the added recent success of films like The Vow and Dear John, Warners has no reason to think Efron can’t claim success with a similar vehicle. It won’t be as high as 17 Again, but The Lucky One‘s opening weekend take will be very near the $20m mark.

Weekend projection: $19.4m (#2 on The Chart)

Think Like a Man

  • Speaking of studios who know what they’ve got, Screen Gems is holding onto producer Will Packer with every bit of strength they can muster. With films like Takers, Obsessed, and Stomp the Yard all bringing in $20+m their debut weekends, the producer/studio collaboration doesn’t appear to be get weak in the slightest.
  • Packer’s latest is Think Like a Man, directed by Tim Story who fans of the Fantastic Four comic book are still a tad angry with. That doesn’t matter here, where Story has pulled together a solid cast that’s extremely marketable. Think Like a Man is a tried and true producer tied with a very credible cast all being pushed by a company who knows exactly how to market it. They’ve had the practice. That’s a recipe for instant, box office success.
  • It’s on only a little more than 2000 screens, which will knock a little off the top. It won’t hurt the film’s overall numbers, but it also won’t help it get to Obsessed’s $28.6m opening weekend. Come Monday, Packer’s position with Screen Gems will be firmly intact.

Weekend projection: $24.2m (#1 on The Chart)

Chimpanzee

  • Disneynature‘s back, and they’re coming with a fury. Chimpanzee fury, that is. Lot of somersaults and climbing up vines. Maybe fling a little poo. Anyway, these Disneynature docs fluctuate with the screen count. Earth opened to $8.8m on 1800 screens with Oceans and African Cats releasing on 1200 screens in subsequent years. They brought in $6m apiece opening weekend.
  • Chimpanzee gets 1500 screens, right in the middle of Earth and Oceans & African Cats. Why the increase in screen count? Who knows? Maybe Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Project Nim made chimps en vogue. Maybe Jane Goodall knows a thing or two about the inner workings over at Disney. Whatever the case, Chimpanzee‘s opening number works in collaboration with the number of screens it’s on, and history tells us $7.7m is where it stands. Arms folded. Case made.
  • For this opening weekend, Disney has agreed to contribute $.20 of every ticket sold for Chimpanzee to the Jane Goodall Institute. A minimum of $100,000 is guaranteed, and every bit of every ticket helps, which is something you should know.

Weekend projection: $7.7m (#4 on The Chart)

The Chart

  1. Think Like a Man – $20.8m NEW
  2. The Lucky One – $19.4m NEW
  3. The Hunger Games – $12.8m (-38.8%)
  4. Chimpanzee – $7.7m NEW
  5. The Three Stooges – $9.7m (-42.9%)
  6. The Cabin in the Woods – $7.6m (-48.1%)
  7. Titanic 3D – $7.1m (-39.7%)
  8. American Reunion -$4.6m (-55%)
  9. Mirror Mirror – $4m (-40.3%)
  10. 21 Jump Street – $4.1m (-36.6%)

The Analysis

If it looks like it’s a slow weekend out there, it probably walks like a duck. That is to say it is a slow weekend, and the $97.8m the top 10 are pulling in here is proof. This time last year, Rio was kicking up a storm, two weekends on top and $115m+ for the top 10 each weekend. Neither Efron nor Steve Harvey have bright feathers and can fly, so that might be a factor. Probably not.

The charge for the Summer season has been lit, and it’s just a matter of waiting now. Nothing looks to soar with Brazilian birds or chase Vin Diesel through Brazilian favelas. Come to think of it, maybe Brazil is the key, but nothing even features Brazil in the coming weeks. It’s a moot point. The point is we’ll be limping along for a few weeks, but it won’t be a drastic downturn in grosses. And, when the dust settles after Steve Harvey has driven off in his brand new Dodge Challenger, the Avengers will be standing there, and it will be oh, so glorious.

This report was not sponsored by Dodge.

We’ll be back early next week to go over the weekend numbers.

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