Best Man Sequel Surprises, but Thor Still Number One
By John Hamann
November 17, 2013
We have a top ten full of men – The Best Man Holiday, Thor, Last Vegas, Bad Grandpa, Ender’s Game and Captain Phillips – all ready to be roasted next weekend when Katniss Everdeen catches fire next weekend. This weekend, though, The Best Man sequel over-performs, and Thor: The Dark World settles in for the rest of its run.
Our number one film of the weekend is Thor: The Dark World, but the story of the weekend is The Best Man Holiday, interesting for what it did at the box office, and interesting as to what impact it would have had if Marty Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street had actually bothered to show up this weekend. The Best Man Holiday had looked cold and alone on the November release calendar, after Wolf vacated when Paramount’s award hopeful was deemed "not ready" and way too long for its prime November release date. That left The Best Man Holiday all by itself, wedged between mega-budgeted sure-fire hits Thor: The Dark World and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (movie titles with colons are not to be messed with). The African-American sequel to the 1999 original OWNED the weekend, and Universal has a hit on its hands, much like last April’s Think Like a Man from Screen Gems. That one opened in April 2012 to $33.6 million, and went on to earn $91.5 million domestically, against a budget of only $14 million.
Just like Think Like a Man, African-American audiences were not expected to come out in droves for a sequel to a movie that was released 14 years ago, failed to debut in the double digits, and took in only $34 million domestically. Tracking was looking for an opening in the high-teens, and those tracking firms must have been shocked when the comedy pulled in $10.7 million on Friday alone. That’s a true Friday number, as there were no Thursday previews or promotions to bump the number up. As BOP’s David Mumpower pointed out yesterday, that Friday number was more than the original opened to over its first weekend ($9 million) and the opening day indicated that tracking was going to be off by at least a third.
The Best Man Holiday was number one on Friday, beating the mega-blockbuster Thor: The Dark World, which means the Marvel superhero was number one for only seven days despite opening to a sizzling $85.7 million last weekend. The Best Man Holiday only had to sidestep the Tyler Perry factor to be a big hit. Some Tyler Perry films are extremely front-loaded. Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of Marriage Counselor opened to $21.6 million, but took in $9.4 million of that on Friday night. That means it had a weekend multiplier (weekend gross divided by Friday gross) of 2.3, and indicates extreme front loading. Think Like a Man was different - it was able to turn a $12 million Friday into a weekend gross of $33.6 million, which means it had a multiplier of 2.8, a figure more normal for a $20 million plus opener.