Late-April Box Office Stumbles Towards Avengers
By John Hamann
April 29, 2012
One of the new films at the box office, Pirates! Band of Misfits, resembles the entire top ten at the box office this weekend. This is a band of misfit movies dropped onto an island called Pre-Avengers Weekend, where not very good films go to die. With the sure-to-be $100 million-plus superhero mash-up coming next weekend, openers this frame were either planning on being future counter-programming, or perhaps they were hoping to be one-weekend wonders. Some of them were just dumped by their owners. They include The Five-Year Engagement, starring Jason Segel and produced by Judd Apatow, the aforementioned Pirates! Band Of Misfits from Aardman Animations, Safe, with Jason Statham doing his thing, and The Raven starring the always fantastic John Cusack, who has the "how did I get here?" look on his face in the marketing. All in all, it's the last weekend in April, and we all know what's coming – both this weekend and next.
Our number one film of the weekend is not one of our misfit openers. Instead, it's last weekend's champ, Think Like a Man, doing something that only one of the Tyler Perry films ever could – repeat at number one. Think Like A Man, from director Tim Story and distributed by Screen Gems, racked up another $18 million and fell a not completely terrible, 46%. Against most Tyler Perry and Screen Gems flicks, the second weekend of Think Like A Man has to be considered a huge success. It was Perry's first movie, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, that fell the least, at 50%, from $21.9 million to $11 million, but its ranking still dropped from first to fourth. Only one Perry film managed to remain at number one for consecutive weekends – Madea's Family Reunion, repeating at number one over two weekends in March of 2006. It fell 58% from weekend-to-weekend, but managed to stay on top as it faced second weekend competition of 16 Blocks, Aquamarine, Ultraviolet and Dave Chapelle's Block Party. The weekend that Family Reunion repeated, the top 12 films earned an embarrassing $83 million, proving that the Madea repeat was due to a slow moviegoing weekend. Think Like A Man is moving in a different direction.
Tyler Perry should take a look over his shoulder. Think Like a Man may have been distributed by Screen Gems, but it was made by a company called Rainforest Films and produced by a fellow called Will Packer. Packer has produced some solid hits over the years, having three number one films prior to Think Like A Man. Obsessed with Beyonce, Idris Elba and Ali Larter was released around the same time in 2009, and opened to $28.6 million, more than the $20 million budget attributed to the film. It went on to earn $68.3 million for Rainforest and Screen Gems. Another was Takers, the film with the unfortunate cast of Hayden Christensen, Paul Walker and Chris Brown. That one – also distributed by Screen Gems - opened to $20 million in late August of 2010, and went on to earn $57.7 million domestically and $70 million worldwide, against a budget of $32 million. Then there is This Christmas, again a Rainforest/Screen Gems combo, which earned $50 million against a budget of $12 million.
Finally, we have Stomp the Yard, the film that got Will Packer where he is today. Against a budget of $13 million, Stomp the Yard ruled the early weekends of January 2007, opening to $28.2 million, then repeating at number one on its way to $61.4 million domestic gross and $75.5 million worldwide. Think Like a Man isn't all that different that Stomp the Yard. The 2012 release has a $33.6 million opening and a repeat weekend at number one, all against a budget of only $12 million. That, my friends, is an impressive resume.