By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 6, 2012 at 5:06PM
In the video comp below,watch as Rainforest Films CEO Will Packer heads to his alma mater, Florida A&M University, to premiere his upcoming ensemble comedy Think Like A Man (in theaters April 20, 2012).
I post it because something he said towards the end of the video got me wondering...
Specifically, he said that the film was test-screened for audiences late last year (a common practice for studio releases), and on both occasions, it tested almost off the charts; the first time, a 96% score; the second time, 99%. He added that, at these numbers, Think Like A Man is the highest test scoring film in the history of Sony Screen Gems.
And he also says it's his (Rainforest Films') best work to date.
So all that got me wondering about just how well we can expect the film to do at the box office.
I took a look at the the other films opening that April 20th weekend, and, I actually think it has a shot of opening at the number 1 slot that weekend. There are 2 other wide releases opening that weekend - a Disney documentary on Chimpanzees; and The Lucky One which stars Zac Efron (based on a Nicholas Sparks book).
Ok so, I said it had a shot; I didn't say it would open at #1 :)
For reasons that continue to escape me, these Nicholas Sparks adaptations (and similar titles) all seem to do well. Throw in heartthrob Zac Efron, and who knows.
The Disney documentary is for the family, so if parents feel like taking their kids to see this, it could also do well. But when was the last time a documentary opened at number 1 on any weekend? Probably in 2004, when Michael Moore's incendiary Fahrenheit 9/11 opened with over $23 million. But different subject, different time altogether.
I don't see that record being matched or broken on the weekend of April 20th. So really, I'd say it's between Think Like A Man and the Zac Efron/Nicholas Sparks flick; and I'll put my money on Think Like A Man.
The high audience test scores aside, it has a lot going for it, notably the fact that it's based on a best-selling book, the author of that book has a large following and, I'm sure, will push his fans to go see the film adaptation; the marketing machine behind it has been quite active for a few months already; I'd say most of the vieweres that make up the film's target audience know about it, and know that it's coming soon; and I expect that group to go out in force on opening weekend.
I don't have an opening weekend figure in mind yet; and I should note that the theater counts for that weekend haven't been released yet, so I'll feel more secure with a prediction when that happens. And maybe I'll run one of those Guess The Opening Weekend Bosx Office contest that week. Someone remind me if I don't.
The Rainforest guys have got a pretty good track record with their last few theatrically released films - Obsessed shocked the world and opened at $28 million, and went onto make close to $70 million; before that, This Christmas opened at $18 million, and made $50 in total; and prior to that, Stomp The Yard opened at $21 million and ended up with a $61 million box office take. Finally, Takers opened at just over $20 million, and grossed almost $60 million.
So, on average, their films are raking in about $60 million in ticket sales, with their budgets growing with from film to film. Stomp The Yard & This Christmas had estimated budgets of $13 million; Obsessed's tab was about $20 million; and Takers tops them all at $32 million. I don't know what the budget for Think Like A Man was yet.
April 20 is 2 weeks from today, so let's see how things shake out...
Here's the video of Packer at FAMU: