Box Office: Thinking Like a Man Knocks ‘Hunger Games’ Down a Couple of Pegs

By  · Published on April 22nd, 2012

Okay, we won’t be starting off this week’s Reject Box Office Report by talking about The Hunger Games, but that will be the last time it appears in headlines. You know, until its inevitable 3D converted re-release.

No, this week we’ll be talking about men. Zac Efron. A cute chimp in the wild making some nice, breezy cash for Disney. That’s a different topic for a different article. These men have swarmed and flanked around the battle-weary opponent, and they struck gold in the process. The head of this charge was Think Like a Man, the reason Screen Gems and producer Will Packer have such a stronger bond as of today. It’s Packer’s biggest debut for the studio, taking over the $28.6m showing for Obsessed in 2009. Add to that the film has an extra weekend coming up where it can coast a bit before getting blasted by The Avengers, and this movie with its $12m budget is going to have some pretty damn good strength. Add to that the home entertainment sales. The party at Screen Gems last night was heard in Vegas.

The party for The Lucky One was heard just down the hall, but at least they threw a party. Warner Brothers’ latest vehicle for Zac Efron dropped in #2 on the chart and #2 on this actor/studio pairings. 17 Again remains the highest earner in its opening weekend, bringing in $23.7m, but The Lucky One is a close second. Efron still remains a leading man, and the relationship will continue. They’ll probably go for more of a comedy next time.

READ: Kate Erbland reviews The Lucky One

A comedy like Chimpanzee. Let’s just stop for a moment and look at the placement of Chimpanzee and The Three Stooges next to each other, almost like it was meant to be. The Disneynature film debuted higher than any of their previous releases, topping 2009’s Earth by $1.4m. Chimpanzee was also released on about 250 less screens, and inflation on ticket prices haven’t risen that much in two years. Let’s talk ticket prices for a moment. Disneynature has agreed to donate $.20 for every ticket sold this weekend to the Jane Goodall Institute. If the average ticket price is $10, that’s 102050 tickets…carry the 8…anyway, it’s $204,100 they’ll be donating. Not an exact science, but we do what we can with what we’ve got. The MacBook is doing most of the work, anyway.

READ: Our review of Chimpanzee

Onto The Hunger Games. Its $14.5m weekend here 5 weeks after its release shot it past Transformers, Lords of Rings, and gabby PIXAR fish. It joined the King’s Chamber, the top 20 moneymakers…in the US…minus inflation. Lot of qualifiers, but this “independent” film is now sitting up there with some of the biggest fish in the ocean. An adjustment when the actual numbers come out could put The Hunger Games higher on the all-time domestic chart than Jurassic Park. Minus inflation.

But what about The Hunger Games worldwide? It’s brought in an additional $215.8m from foreign markets, a $572.7m worldwide total. There are 73 films that have made more the world over, big films in their own right, but let’s just say Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is one of them. The Hunger Games is getting there, but it’s taking longer on the all-time worldwide chart.

Another film that’s getting good foreign box office, in fact it’s only getting foreign box office, is Battleship, one of the big hitters coming up early this Summer. Four weeks before its US release, it’s amassed a $129.6m head-start from foreign tickets sales. South Korea heads the list where Battleship’s money is coming in, $7.8m from that country who either loves aliens, loves our sailors in blue, or loves the whole shebang. As Paramount handled with The Adventures of Tintin, Universal is looking to their first boy of Summer to bring a nice, foreign surge with it before dropping on the US. So far reviews haven’t been pretty, but when has that ever mattered?

Here’s how the weekend broke down:

  1. Think Like a Man – $33m NEW
  2. The Lucky One – $22.8m NEW
  3. The Hunger Games – $14.5m (-31.3%) $356.9m total
  4. Chimpanzee – $10.2m NEW
  5. The Three Stooges – $9.2m (-45.9%) $29.3m total
  6. The Cabin in the Woods – $7.7m (-47.4%) $26.3m total
  7. American Reunion – $5.2m (-50.4%) $48.3m total
  8. Titanic 3D – $5m (-58.2%) $52.8m total
  9. 21 Jump Street – $4.6m (-29.9%) $127m total
  10. Mirror Mirror – $4.1m (-39.9%) $55.2m total

For a total of $116.3m, up from that past couple of weekends, but that’s to be expected. Films like Mirror Mirror and 21 Jump Street are holding onto very strong box offices. The former didn’t have much of a jump upon release, but it’s held on as strong as it can. The hardest sinker has, oddly enough, been Titanic 3D. Nobody tell James Cameron, though. The Mariana Trench hasn’t been the same since his last visit. Bad news only sets him off.

Seriously, though, the box office is holding and will hold sturdy this weekend and next, giving the industry a nice coast into a massive tidal wave. The Summer movies are fast approaching, and entries on those box office charts are getting frightened of that shaking up that is about to occur. They’ll have four, new films next weekend to look down and smile upon, films like The Raven, Safe, Five-Year Engagement, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits. The Raven has John Cusack and Safe has Jason Statham, and nothing says pleasant like John Cusack and Jason Satham.

We’ll be back later in the week to see how the weekend is shaping up.