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Weekend B.O. Nov. 15-17 (‘Best Man’ Got Just This Close…)

Box Office
by Sergio
November 17, 2013 12:11 PM
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With all the advance tickets sales, and as Tambay on Friday said it was going to happen...

... well it did.

The Best Man Holiday had a solid opening, besting most box office predictions, coming in second behind Thor: The Dark World , which earned $38.5 million.

Holiday actually grossed more than Dark World on Friday, but the Mighty Thor rose up to vanquish Best Man over the weekend.

BMH opened with $30.6 million this weekend, proving most box office experts wrong who predicted a more modest $17--$20 million opening. The one exception being Erik Childress of, WGN Radio and WCIU-TV Chicago, one of the few consistently accurate box office analysts, who predicted a $34 million opening for Holiday a few weeks ago. (Even I thought he was way off.)

This puts Holiday well on track to do Think Like A Man business which opened with $33.7 million and did over $90 million at the box office and it could possibly do even more than that, perhaps even reaching $95-100 million.

Still the film, with its modest $17 million production budget, low budget for a studio film, is already guaranteed to be a huge success for Universal and will far out gross 1999’s The Best Man which made a modest $34 million total at the box office.

But of course I have to be a spoil sport, so here it is…

There are a few things that could keep Holiday from reaching Think Like A Man’s total gross.  First of all, the film could be victim to, as I call it, the  “Comic Con fanboy” factor in that everyone who really wanted to see the film went out the first week and everyone else has a more wait and see, “I’ll get to it later” attitude which could cause a significant drop in the b.o. total in the following weeks.

But there’s another problem too, and that’s the heavy competition that’s coming out, starting next week, through the holiday season.

The film will be going to be going up against such heavy hitters like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (which is opening in over 4000 theaters next weekend and is already projected to make some $150 million in its opening weekend, and Childress said it could be even higher than that), The Wolf of Wall Street, Lone Survivor, Saving Mr. Banks, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Anchorman 2. On top of that there are, of course, other black films coming out soon in the next few weeks, such as Black Nativity, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, and, dare we say it, A Madea Christmas (which Childress predicted last week will have one of the biggest weekend openings for any Madea film. Once again I disagree and once again we’ll know soon enough).

For Holiday to hit $90 million or more it’s going to need really strong word of mouth, which it seems to be getting,  to keep people flocking to it and to keep the week to week box office drop lower than expected. Time will tell, as the weeks goes by, what the final outcome will be.

As for other films, Gravity has already passed the half a billion box office mark worldwide, both Last Vegas and Jackass: Bad Grandpa have become “where did that come from?” genuine fall sleeper hits, and 12 Years A Slave, still playing in a limited run in 1400 theaters, has made about $25 million to date.

1) Thor: The Dark World BV $38,454,000 Total: $146,965,000 
2) The Best Man Holiday Uni. $30,593,000 
3) Last Vegas CBS $8,850,000  Total: $46,958,000 
4) Free Birds Rela. $8,300,000 Total: $42,218,000 
5) Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa Par. $7,670,000 Total: $90,202,000 
6) Gravity WB $6,280,000 Total: $240,556,000 
7) Ender's Game LG/S $6,200,000 Total: $53,777,000 
8) 12 Years a Slave FoxS $4,700,000 Total: $24,949,000
9)  Captain Phillips Sony $4,500,000 Total: $97,617,000 
10) About Time Uni. $3,462,000 Total: $11,568,000 
11) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Sony $1,950,000 Total: $113,016,000 
12) Dallas Buyers Club Focus $1,785,000 Total: $3,044,000 
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  • lilkunta | November 18, 2013 10:01 PMReply

    The total shouldnt be counted until Sunday is over as many are going after church on Sunday or just before Sunday dinner.

  • sthn | November 18, 2013 1:45 PMReply

    Why did I get married III.

  • Rocket | November 18, 2013 4:51 PM

    I was thinking the same thing when I saw it with my wife this weekend. Nothing wrong with that. But the whole, "This is nothing like a TP film" line is off. It was good film. But at times it felt very much like a TP film. I know Malcolm Lee thinks otherwise, though.

  • CareyCarey | November 18, 2013 11:25 AMReply

    "Drawing an overwhelmingly female and African-American audience, "The Best Man Holiday" was a surprise challenger for the mighty "Thor." ~ AP's JAKE COYLE

    Hmmm.... surprise to whom? But I have to wonder... is this group of female ticket buyers the same fat pockets black women who puffed up Think Like A Man's bank account? Well, lets play name that crowd.

    First, I believe there are those ( some might call snobs) who wouldn't be caught dead at a Tyler Perry flick... nooooo no, they'd rather die than let their snobby artsy fartsy friends see them laugh at black folks having fun, but since Tyler's name is not attached to this brand of movie mess, that gang can slip in unannounced. So check mark for the snobs.

    Now, since this film's cast is a wee bit older than TLAM's, younger black females might not be able to relate to "Best Man's" theme of memories of of the good ol' days gone by. So, can't give a check mark to that crowd.

    So who's left on the telenegro - telephone (word of mouth) line, to call that's gonna puff up the Best Man's profits in the next few weeks? Well, according to that white guy, Jake, white folks ain't paying no attention to this black rom-com so their money is nil and void... so again, who's left to puff-up the profits?

  • dave, the guy who likes cheese | November 18, 2013 7:48 AMReply

    Again, I repeat:

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

  • DAVE, the guy who liked beer | November 18, 2013 12:59 PM

    @MilesMaker, your business logic is sound (unlike most folks on this site). But you're forgetting BMH has no long-term box office draw i.e. Kevin Hart (and/or Madea). The market would have to be super soft for BMH to reach 80 mil, and neither Chestnut nor Diggs pull in that cumulative domestic BO.

  • @milesmaker | November 18, 2013 12:12 PM

    BEST MAN HOLIDAY opening weekend was 75% female while 63% were age 35+ and 87% were Black.

    Presuming BEST MAN HOLIDAY has a weekend-to-final multiplier closer to THINK LIKE A MAN (2.72x) that's $83M Dave, so your $55-$65 would be considered low performing after a $30M opener.

  • Daveslaughter | November 18, 2013 10:03 AM

    You failed. Do you know this film has already broke even? Joke is on you.

  • slb | November 17, 2013 3:38 PMReply

    Congrats to the cast and crew on the $30 million opening. A huge opening was right in line with how anticipated sequels typically play. Also, this was a great opportunity for counter programming. I think some props should be given to Universal's marketing group. They ran a smart campaign and threw real $$$ out there to support this film. I knew they were serious when I started seeing commercials during NFL games. Those spots aren't cheap. It is a testament to how broadly Universal thought the film would play. Kudos to them. I still don't think it will break $100 million because the opening weekend will be top heavy. But the Cinemascore is A- and word of mouth will definitely be strong. If it makes $100 million, I will be pleasantly surprised.

  • bee | November 17, 2013 2:57 PMReply

    Sadly i don't think the film will score think like a man numbers. I could be wrong but i think the majority of the crowd went out this weekend. The film was good and super funny but it got a little toooooo dramatic for me which felt like a Tyler Perry film in some parts but the humor picked back up

  • ALM | November 17, 2013 2:52 PMReply

    Congrats to "The Best Man". The movie still stands to make a ton more money. I know a lot of people who didn't make it to the theater this week who plan to see the movie within the next month

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