Every trade will tell you the success of “Think Like A Man Too” is because of social media buzz. I just thought it was a little guy named Kevin Hart and an audience that is constantly underserved. I’m going to go with the latter. Hart is one of the biggest African-American stars in the world right now (minus mega-star Will Smith) and the urban audience has a movie squarely aimed at them maybe every two months at best, so they usually turn out for comedy starring one of their own. And so as expected “Think Like A Man Too” took the number one spot at the box-office this weekend, but not by a lot.
While it’s about $10 million shy of “Ride Along,” his biggest box-office opening (minus the “Scary Movies” which he wasn’t the star of per se) and not as big an opening as the original “Think Like A Man,” to say Kevin Hart’s popularity is waning at the box-office would be too premature of a prediction. But it's a relatively soft Kevin Hart opening, at least for how much buzz his projects seem to have these days (and down 10% from the first film). Just a few hundred thousand shy from taking the number one slot again was “22 Jump Street.” But then again, #1 and #2 slots for Sony sequels is a win win for the company.
The Sony action comedy took in another $29 million at the box office and has already cracked the $110 million mark in two weeks. The picture only suffered a small 47% drop from its first big opening weekend so audiences are clearly not getting tired of this one and it'll easily hang out in the top 10 for several weeks at this rate.
DreamWorks Animation’s stock fell after the strong, but not spectacular opening of “How To Train Your Dragon 2,” and the sequel just doesn't have the same wing span. It might not be a gangbusters release, but it has almost cracked $100 million domestically in two weeks of release. In fact, in its second week of release, it is 7.1% higher in domestic grosses than the original. Sure, sequels are supposed perform better, not about the same, but it’s far from a major disappointment… yet. The first one grossed almost $500 million worldwide and the global $131 million so far from the sequel is pretty far off pace. Presumably, though, it still has several international markets to open in.
Clint Eastwood has earned the right to do pretty much whatever he wants over at his Warner Bros. home. That means allowing him to make a musical adaptation of a film that it seems not that many people wanted to see. His “Jersey Boys” picture couldn’t hit many of the notes needed for a big box-office win this weekend. But at the #4 slot with $13.5 million, that’s about the optimal opening you can hope for considering you’re opening a musical in the middle of the summer, with zero stars and zero brand name value beyond a stageplay musical that was a hit on Broadway. But at the cost of $40 million, maybe “Jersey Boys” was budgeted around $10 million too high. We’ll see if it can hit that number domestically to "break even," but it could prove to be too difficult in a summer full of noisy tentpoles and Michael Bay’s robot juggernaut about to hit next weekend (on a zillion screens and a gajillion territories too). In its favor, however? An A-minus cinemascore meaning those who saw it loved it and word of mouth for the audiences still interested will be high.
All those who that wrote their “Is Tom Cruise still a star at the box-office?” thinkpiece might be feeling slightly sheepish. Those premature predictions are off. “Edge Of Tomorrow” is still showing great legs and only dropped a small 37% in its third weekend of release. It’s certainly not going to be a gangbusters performance, but it’s hardly going to be the bomb some were forecasting. The movie has grossed $293 million worldwide (in three weeks) and $74 million domestically, the latter of which is admittedly low. But it could hit $100 million and when you look at that number it’s not far off what Cruise actually does at the box-office these days if he’s not in a major tentpole like the “Mission Impossible” series. The last non-franchise blockbuster of Tom Cruise’s to hit $100 million domestically was “War Of The Worlds” in 2005. That’s almost 10 yeas ago. So imagine the movie plays for what, 7-8 weekends, at least overseas? $350 million worldwide is certainly not in doubt and the Doug Liman-directed film has already outperformed “Oblivion” ($286 million worldwide).
If it wasn’t apparent already Angelina Jolie’s “Maleficent” is an incontestable huge hit and it feels we’ll get a sequel announcement any day now. The movie took in another $20.3 million in its opening China debut this weekend and the movie has grossed $521 million worldwide. It’s on track to surpass $200 domestically and it's certainly Jolie’s highest grossing live-action film ever. She would need for the film to hit the mid-high $600 million figures to overcome the grosses of her two highly successful “Kung Fu Panda” movies.
After a hard second week stumble, "The Fault In Our Stars" took a much smaller 41.9% drop in its third week. The movie is two million shy of $100 million domestically and for its low cost you can bet Fox and many other studios will be mining weepie YA novels to try and duplicate its major success. "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is slowing down, but still pacing rather well. It should be able to hit $700 million worldwide and if all goes well can outgross "X-Men: The Last Stand" to become the highest grossing X-Men film at home (it's already the highest grossing X-film ever overseas). International is where it’s at for “Godzilla.” The monster movie is at $477 million worldwide, and after six weeks in theaters (10 weeks total?), it will likely surpass the $500 million mark. Domestically, the movie is mostly tapped out as it only grossed $1.8 million and those numbers are only going to get smaller. It’s at $194 million at home and maybe can get to $200 million.
Jon Favreau’s “Chef” is still serving up decent box-office numbers and even outgrossed “Godzilla” this weekend. A picture perfect model of starting out in limited release and then growing, the drama has grossed almost $17 million so far. A terrific success for a small and modest little indie and as per usual, its 17% drop from last weekend is once again the box-office’s best hold. Falling out of the top 10 this week was Seth McFarlane's "A Million Ways To Die In The West" and Seth Rogen's "Neighbors." The former is lucky if it'll hit $45 million total at home -- in comparison, MacFarlane's "Ted" was $54 million in its opening weekend. "Neighbors" maybe be on its way out of theaters relatively soon, but the frat comedy has grossed almost $150 million at home (that still puts it in the top 15 for R-Rated comedies domestically) and $238 million worldwide and that's a terrific number. In fact, a relatively low $18 million budget makes it a huge success to boot.
In moderately wide release, A24’s “The Rover” sadly couldn’t connect with mainstream audiences and was scorched in the sun. On 637 screens the movie could only gross $500K, a very weak $787 per screen and perhaps a cautionary tale of taking an arthouse film into wide release too soon (platform building and growing the theater count might have been a better plan. Paul Haggis' latest “Third Person” scored $42,046 in five theaters which is a decent $8,419 per screen average, but it remains to be seen if it’ll go wide.