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Early Box Office Tracking Projects Big Opening Weekend For 'Best Man Holiday'

by Tambay A. Obenson
November 15, 2013 4:08 PM
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Best Man Cast

Needless to say, this is one box office opening weekend we've had marked on our calendars since I made the seemingly bold argument 2 months ago that Malcolm D. Lee's sequel to The Best Man, titled Best Man Holiday, had the potential to reach a $100 million cumulative box office gross. 

And as I noted in that post, it would need to match opening weekend numbers for Think Like A Man, which shocked the world last year with a $33.6 million opening weekend take, on its way to a $91 million domestic cumulative gross.

Based on early box office reports, it looks like Best Man Holiday will do just that.

Friday numbers for the Universal Pictures release are coming in at $12.5 million to $13.5 million, for a projected total weekend gross of somewhere in the mid-$30 million range

While it may not be enough to claim the #1 spot at the box office this weekend (Thor, in its second week, is projected to earn about $37,5 million this weekend), a mid-$30 million opening is a strong start for Best Man Holiday, considering that some earlier reports projected a $17-$20 million cume for the weekend.

The road to $100 million is still a rather long one for the film; word of mouth and repeat viewings are key to its long-term success. For Universal, Malcolm D. Lee and the film's cast, the promotion doesn't suddenly end. Mission is far from accomplished. In fact, these next few weeks become even more crucial to the film's long-term success - that is if a triple-digit (or near triple-digit total box office gross is in their sights.

I'll add that the film will also face some competition over the coming weeks. Not just other "black films" on the horizon, like Black Nativity and Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, but it is awards season after all - the time of the year when studios showcase their best films, which may or may not have an effect on Best Man Holiday's audience reach.

Still, a nice strong start was needed to help catapult the film, giving it less ground to have to make up over time. And even if it doesn't reach the coveted $100 million mark, it should do very well by the time it leaves theaters, given this weekend's upside surprise opening figures.

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  • Alan | November 16, 2013 5:03 PMReply

    S&A backlash in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

  • Scripttease | November 16, 2013 1:55 PMReply

    I finally broke down and watched '12 Years a Slave. Very powerful film. Now I'm ready for Best Man Holiday.

  • Donella | November 16, 2013 12:39 PMReply

    I'm thrilled for the cast and director that this movie is performing well.

  • SF | November 16, 2013 9:45 AMReply

    My almost 70 year-old mother, my 78 & 70 yr old aunts went together to see it. They are frequent moviegoers, who attend matinee showings. They're used to a theater with a sparse crowd. Not Friday. Mom said the theater was packed for an 11:00 am showing! They weren't happy, haha, but I was ecstatic! This bodes tremendously well for the film. Do not be surprised if it reaches 40 million.

  • Tiv | November 16, 2013 2:51 AMReply

    It evoked many emotions. Laughs I expected, but I did not expect to have teary eyes. I looked at some of the surrounding patrons in the theater and they were wiping their eyes. However, it definitely ended on a laugh. Most definitely, want to have it in my DVD collection.

  • Fieldnegro | November 16, 2013 2:31 AMReply

    Hollywood has been lying to Black film makers. Black films don't lack international appeal. It is just a ruse to pay black filmmakers and actors less while they make off big selling international distribution rights without having to share with these film makers. And of course to keep Black actors in line. I hope Malcolm Lee hasn't waive the international clause in his contract.

  • Ava | November 16, 2013 3:55 PM

    I actually see it doing quite well in Canada, England, France perhaps even Japan (if promoted properly). Not to mention South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and the Caribbean. I often wonder why Africa is left out of international projections? The continent has a burgeoning middle class with some income to spend on entertainment as well.

  • Monique a Williams | November 16, 2013 12:40 AMReply

    It deserves all the success! I know repeat viewings are gonna push it over the top!

  • saadiyah | November 16, 2013 12:19 AMReply

    I saw it Friday evening with a group of friends, in a packed theater, and LOVED it. I laughed a lot and even cried a little. The cast all still look good as h*ll, so that was the cherry on top!

    It'll have excellent word of mouth. And like @Tracey stated, after 12 Years A Slave, The Butler, etc, people will welcome some light-hearted entertainment. I think it'll do well.

  • Tracey | November 15, 2013 9:02 PMReply

    One thing that I haven't read any analysis from any of the film websites take into consideration is, after so much heavy black dramas all year long like 12 Years A Slave, Fruitvale, The Butler, and all the serious documentaries and independent dramas, black folks generally are ready to just have a good time at the movies without all the serious drama and Best Man Holiday comes just at the right time if you think about it. It helps that it has a history and a following already. But we're seeing it tomorrow night with my friends. Some friends who saw it today said they loved it and some even said that they plan to see it again. And it wasn't all women or gay men either. And it wasn't all black people. Honestly I don't know and don't care whether it makes $60 million or $100 million. I just want it to do well and make enough noise in Hollywood.

  • Imnsa | November 16, 2013 8:19 PM

    This is just a question, not a criticism. Your post and others have similar statements about the film doing well enough to make noise in Hollywood.
    What does that mean, and does it actually translate to more opportunities for black films to go overseas or get green lights for more films to be made in the US with black casts? From what I've heard, Think Like a Man had a big office here, is that associated with any other outcomes in the industry/did it just bode success for the film makers/actors?
    Hope the question makes sense. Thanks.

  • Dave, the guy who liked beer | November 15, 2013 8:09 PMReply

    25-35 mil open
    60% second weekend audience decrease
    six week run
    mid range reviews
    tepid word of mouth
    40+ year old cast
    55-65 total domestic BO
    know your business, kids

  • Carl | November 17, 2013 2:53 PM


    So far, you're right on point.

  • Dave, the guy who liked beer | November 16, 2013 1:48 PM

    I'm going to teach you kids something new about business: S&A is fun but there is a whole other world out there (upon which certain "opinions" are based). It's cool to work at your Uncle Pookie's barbershop until it's time to get a real job.

  • SF | November 16, 2013 9:40 AM

    Dave, so happy moviegoers proved you wrong. Maybe it's you who needs to get some business, kid.

  • Scott | November 16, 2013 12:07 AM

    SMH...This guy is either hoping it does poorly, or is living a bubble. I saw the movie today. I had to settle for 2:40 p.m matinee. Because the two screens showing the earlier(11:40a.m, & 12:25p.m) were already sold-out. Also the show I saw was sold-out. As well as the other nighttime showings.

  • Monique | November 15, 2013 8:42 PM

    SOunds like Dave here has it all figured out. I remember similar statements were made about Think Like A Man. And that movie was actually reviewed a lot worse than this one. And I don't know where you're getting $25-35 million open. If it's done $12.5 to $13.5 on Friday alone, you're looking at more like $35 million to $40 million open. And you say "Tepid word of mouth"? Um, you must be living in a bubble somewhere, right? That's why it was trending on Twitter today. SMH

  • Ghost | November 15, 2013 7:53 PMReply

    There were lines down the street at one movie theater and this was around 4:00 PM and there were folks leaving work early for this film.

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