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Weekend Wrap-Up: Moviegoers were Very Thoughtful

April 23rd, 2012

Every single film in the top five either matched or exceeded expectations, Think Like a Man more than doubled its predictions, but it still wasn't enough to match last year's total. Granted, there was still reason to celebrate, as the box office soared 18% when compared to last week reaching $135 million over the weekend, while the box office fell short of last year's total by less than 0.5%, so it is hardly a reason to panic. Additionally, 2012 is still ahead of 2011 by a massive 17% margin at $3.14 billion to $2.69 billion. Next weekend will be a disaster, but the weekend after that is the start of summer, and analysts are bullish on the overall box office chances.

Expectations for Think Like a Man were pretty high. After all, earning $16 million in 2000 theaters would be a great start for a film that cost just $12 million to make. However, the film opened with just over $12 million on Friday alone. By the end of the weekend, it had pulled in $33.64 million. This is the seventh biggest opening of the year so far and it would have been the second best opening for a Tyler Perry film, had it been a Tyler Perry film. His films are a good way to judge this one, after all, they are both aimed at African-American audiences, they are both based on popular source material, and they both deal with giving advice. Think Like a Man earned mixed reviews and films aimed at underserved markets tend to be front-loaded, so I'm unsure about the film's long-term chances, but with a start like this, I'm sure the studio is very happy.

The Lucky One also did better than expected, albeit by a much, much smaller margin. It opened with $22.52 million over the weekend, which is the best opening for a Nicholas Sparks film. Its reviews sunk to just 20% positive reviews and I have little hope for the film's legs. On the other hand, it was a relatively inexpensive movie to make, so the studio should be happy with this start.

Speaking of happy, The Hunger Games added $14.67 million over the weekend giving it a total of $357.07 million after a month of release. The film is still holding onto its audience very well and its per theater average is still quite strong. It will likely begin shedding theaters at an accelerated pace, especially when the summer blockbusters start to open, but $400 million remains a remote possibility. With nearly $600 million worldwide, the film has already made enough to cover its production budget, and the production budgets of the two sequels, so by the time this film reaches the home market, every thing it makes will be pure profit for the entire franchise.

Chimpanzee was a surprise entrant in the top five with $10.67 million in just 1,563 theaters. This is one of the best openings ever for a documentary and given its target demographic and its reviews, it should stick around in theaters for a while and it should sell well on the home market.

The Three Stooges earned $9.76 million over the weekend for a total of $29.92 million after two. This is nearly identical to the film's $30 million production budget, meaning it is well on its way to earning a profit.

The Cabin in the Woods just missed the top five with $8.02 million over the past three days for a total of $27.25 million after ten. Its sophomore stint drop-off was just 46%, which was surprisingly strong for a film with obvious Fanboy drawing power. Its reviews are the best in the top ten, so this explains its hold. The only other member of the sophomore class was Lockout, which fell out of the top ten with just $3.25 million over the weekend for a total of $11.22 million after two. It fell less than 50%, which is something to celebrate, I guess, but its opening was so weak that it really won't matter in the big picture.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Cabin in the Woods, The Three Stooges, The Hunger Games, Lockout, The Lucky One, Chimpanzee, Think Like a Man