Ensemble comedy Think Like a Man scored one of the best openings in recent memory for an African-American-themed film in debuting to $33 million as Screen Gems continues its winning streak at the box office.
Think Like a Man, adapted from Steve Harvey's best-selling advice book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, gets bragging rights to being the film to topple Lionsgate's blockbuster The Hunger Games, which has now grossed $357 million domestically.
The film, whose cast includes Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall and Kevin Hart, is about four men whose love lives are disrupted when their partners begin using advice from Harvey's book and received an A CinemaScore. Males turned out in force, making up 63 percent of the audience. Think Like a Man skewed older, with 62 percent older than 30.
Think Like a Man, made for a modest $12 million to $13 million, follows the success of Screen Gems' The Vow and Underworld: Awakening this year and marks another victory for Screen Gems' Clint Culpepper.
"It worked because it is so damn funny," Sony president of worldwide distribution Rory Bruer said. "It doesn't matter whether you are a man or a woman, you are going to have a great time."
In terms of African-American-themed films, Think Like a Man's opening exceeded many of Tyler Perry's recent films. Perry's Good Deeds debuted to $15.6 million earlier this year, and Madea's Big Happy Family opened to $25.1 million last year.
Warner Bros.' film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' The Lucky One came in No. 2, turning in a better-than-expected $22.8 million in a boost for Zac Efron.
The seventh film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, Lucky One received a B+ CinemaScore. It wasn't able to match the $30.5 million debut of Dear John in February 2010 or the $25.3 million debut of The Last Song over five days in March 2010 but is nevertheless considered a strong start.
"What a nice weekend at the box office," Warner Bros. executive vice president distribution Jeff Goldstein said. "Zac Efron is clearly the guy, and Nicholas Sparks is the best."
Overseas, Lucky One opened to a strong $3.8 million from only nine territories, with $2.5 million coming from Australia, where it bumped holdover Battleship from the No. 1 spot.
After ruling the domestic box office for four consecutive weekends -- the most since Avatar -- Lionsgate's Hunger Games fell to No. 3, hunting down $14.5 million for a domestic total of $357 million. Overseas, the tentpole has now grossed $215.8 million for a whopping global total of $572.8 million.
The third new film of the weekend was Chimpanzee, Disney's latest nature documentary, which placed No. 4 Friday with a pleasing $10.2 million, a record for a Disneynature film (Earth was the previous best at $8.8 million). Some proceeds from opening-weekend earnings will go to the Jane Goodall Institute.
At the specialty box office, Sony Pictures Classics saw a solid result for Lawrence Kasdan's Darling Companion, starring Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest and Richard Jenkins. The film grossed $46,269 as it opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $11,574.
For full weekend results, see below.
Domestic box office, April 20-April 22
Title/Weeks in release/Theater count, Studio/Three-day weekend total/Cume
1. Think Like a Man, 1/2,015, Sony, $33 million
2. The Lucky One, 1/3,155, Warner Bros., $22.8 million
3. The Hunger Games, 5/3,752, Lionsgate, $14.5 million, $357 million.
4. Chimpanzee, 1/1,563, Disney, $10.2 million.
5. The Three Stooges, 2/3,482, $9.2 million, $29.4 million.
6. The Cabin in the Woods, 2/2,811, Lionsgate/MGM, $7.8 million, $27 million.
7. American Reunion, 3/3,003, Universal, $5.2 million, $48.3 million.
8. Titanic 3D, 3/2,505, Paramount/Fox, $5 million, $42.8 million.
9. 21 Jump Street, 6/2,427, Sony/MGM, $4.6 million, $127.1 million.
10. Mirror Mirror, 4/2,930, Relativity, $4.1 million, $55.2 million.