Quite a weekend this was, with two surprisingly strong new entries and for the first time in a month Katniss Everdeen did not finish first. There was also a nature documentary posting a new record for the genre, while at the same time cracking the top 5.
Sony/Screen Gems comedy Think Like a Man made its debut in 1st place with a staggering $33.6 million. I say staggering because you just don’t see this level of success from an all-black comedy, unless Tyler Perry is involved. If it can stay strong in the next 2-3 weeks, then I could see a potential $100 million by the end of its run.
In 2nd we had The Lucky One with $22.5 million. Believe it or not, that’s actually the 2nd best opening for a Nicholas Sparks adaptation, only Dear John (2010) ranking higher with $30.4 million. Like almost every other Sparks film, it will likely triple that opening weekend when all is said and done, so $60-70 million in North America.
The odds have been in Katniss Everdeen’s favor over the past 4 weeks, but not anymore with the film dropping to 3rd. That being said, thanks to another $14.6 million this weekend (2nd smallest drop in the top 10), The Hunger Games has reached a colossal $357 million in North America, making it the current 19th highest grosser of all time. Actually by the time you read this, the film will already be 18th and getting ever so close to 17th (The Passion of Christ, $370.7 million). To give you an idea of just how strong The Hunger Games has been week over week, after 7 days in release the film was at $189.9 million. Now the last chapter in the Harry Potter series had made $226.1 million after 7 days, so there was a $36.2 million gap between the two. After 31 days, The Hunger Games sits just $0.3 million shy of Deathly Hallows Part 2 at the same point in its run. That film finished with $381 million in North America so The Hunger Games might go up to $390 million. What’s more impressive is that Katniss had no 3D to aid her.
Nature documentaries aren’t exactly what you’d expect to find in a box office top 10 but in the last few years Disney has consistently opened them around Earth Day. They found moderate success at the box office with titles like Earth (2009, $32 million), Oceans (2010, $19.4 million) and African Cats (2011, $15.4 million). In 2012 we have Chimpanzee opening with $10.6 million, a new record for nature documentaries.
Rounding out the top 5 was The Three Stooges with $9.7 million for a 10-day total of $29.9 million.
The Cabin in the Woods, an almost perfect genre deconstruction piece and one of my favorite films of 2012 thus far, was 6th with $8 million. That means $27.2 million after 10 days, making The Cabin in the Woods the 18th highest grossing horror-comedy of all time for now.