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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Top Stories

The Hunger Games Meets Its Match—and So Does Zac Efron

In an ordinary weekend, it might have been Zac Efron's The Lucky One that wrested the crown away from the dystopian blockbuster.
But, as things turned out, another new film enjoyed an extraordinary weekend.
Think Like a Man, the ensemble comedy spawned from comic/radio-star Steve Harvey's best-selling relationship book, grossed a whopping $33 million, more than $10 million than the Efron film, which played on 1,000 more screens.
Memo to New Year's Eve: That's how it's done.
Think Like a Man is Hollywood's biggest-opening romantic comedy since the 2010 release of NYE's older, more successful sibling, Valentine's Day.
The No. 1 finish was not unexpected—although its gross was. Conservative studio estimates had pegged the film, made for about $12 million, for an opening in the high teens.
For the movie's breakout star, Kevin Hart, the debut is his second straight eye-opener. Last year, Hart's $750,000 indie concert film, Laugh at My Pain, was a word-of-mouth hit.
Also, yes, for those keeping score at home, Think Like a Man is now the top-opening movie of Chris Brown's film career.
While it settled for second place, The Lucky One was not a loser, and was a positive development for Efron, whose track record took a hit in the aforementioned NYE.
The film is Efron's biggest opener since 2009's 17 Again, and proves him more capable at this time of opening of a romantic drama than fellow twentysomething Robert Pattinson. (But, no, he's no Channing Tatum.)
The Hunger Games, meanwhile, fell to third place, with a still-solid $14.5 million. Prior to getting trumped by Think Like a Man, the Jennifer Lawrence film had spent three weeks at No. 1.
The year's top-grossing movie has pushed its domestic total to $356.9 million, moving it past Transformers: Dark of the Moon for 19th place among the all-time hits.
Elsewhere, the Disney nature film Chimpanzee was a minor blockbuster, grossing $10.2 million off fewer screens than any film in the Top 10.
Holdovers The Three Stooges and The Cabin in the Woods both held up OK, even as they tumbled in the standings.
Wrath of the Titans made a speedy exit from the Top 10, with the sequel lasting only three weeks. A $77 million-grossing bust here, overseas audience saved the day, sort of. Per, the $195 million epic has grossed $264 million worldwide.
Battleship, another super-sized, would-be blockbuster, broke the $100 million mark in its second week in international release. The film opens here May 18.
The Efron-voiced Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, the year's No. 2 film, dropped from the rankings after a seven-week stay.
In limited release, Darling Companion, director Lawrence Kasdan's latest and apparently final ode to baby boomers, was a hit ($46,296 at four screens), as was the Bob Marley documentary, Marley ($260,000 at 42 locations). 
Here's the complete rundown of the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday domestic estimates as reported by the studios and Exhibitor Relations:
  1. Think Like a Man, $33 million
  2. The Lucky One, $22.8 million
  3. The Hunger Games, $14.5 million
  4. Chimpanzee, $10.2 million
  5. The Three Stooges, $9.2 million
  6. The Cabin in the Woods, $7.8 million
  7. American Reunion, $5.2 million
  8. Titanic 3D, $5 million
  9. 21 Jump Street, $4.6 million
  10. Mirror Mirror, $4.1 million

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