By Brian Fuson | Thompson on Hollywood April 29, 2012 at 12:51PM
The overall weekend box office took a dive as four new wide releases hit theaters-- but not one cracked the $12 million mark or placed better than second. With an estimated total of $111 million from all films, down some 30% from a year earlier, it could turn out to be the lowest-grossing weekend of the year.
For the second weekend running, Sony’s “Think Like A Man” (Screen Gems) was number one, taking in an estimated $18 million and slipping a moderate 46% from its debut. The ensemble comedy, based on the bestselling book by Steve Harvey, has an estimated cume of $63.9 million after 10 days in theaters.
The majority of the weekend’s four new wide releases were aimed at adult audiences as three of the films – each of a different genre - carried an R-rating, but it was families that carried the day among the new pictures as the lone family friendly film with a PG rating performed the best of the four.
Sony’s “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” a stop-motion animated comedy produced by England’s Aardman Animation (“Wallace and Gromit") for around $55 million, debuted in the second spot with an estimated $11.4 million. The nice finish for “Misfits” gives Sony the top two spots at the boxoffice this weekend.
““Think Like A Man” is holding great," said Rory Bruer, President of Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures. “And 'Pirates' opened right where we thought it would; [it] will have a very solid multiple and continues to play well around the world."
Peter Lord's “Misfits,” about a pirate who yearns to be Pirate of the Year, features the voices of Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Pivan, Danny DeVito, Zach Efron and Taylor Swift. “Misfits” has a chance at having legs down the road as the picture garnered a stout 88% on the Tomatometer, and picked up a CinemaScore of B.
Aardman's most recent film released in the U.S. was last year’s “Arthur Christmas,” which did much better internationally than domestically, which could be the case here as well. “Misfits” has opened overseas in 49 territories and has picked up around $63.7 million, bringing its worldwide cume to $75.1 million so far.
Warner Bros.’ “The Lucky One” was in third place on its sophomore session, taking in an estimated $11.3 million. The Zac Efron starrer was down 50% from its opening as the total for the romantic-drama moved to an estimated $39.9 million.
Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” was fourth with an estimated $11.25 million, helping to advance the cume for the blockbuster picture to a resounding $372.5 million.
Heading into the weekend, Universal’s “The Five-Year Engagement” was predicted to be the top-grossing new arrival, with projections in the $17 million to $20 million area, but the romantic comedy could only conjure up an estimated $11.2 million, placing fifth.
The Judd Apatow-produced film was produced by Universal and Relativity Media for a modest $30 million and was directed by Nicholas Stoller, who co-wrote the film with Jason Segal. The marketing on “Engagement” played up Apatow's "Bridesmaids" connection, but results suggest that audiences just weren't interested.
“Engagement” follows engaged couple Segal and Emily Blunt's five-year trek to the altar. Moviegoers gave the film a CinemaScore of B-, while critics were 64% favorable. Not surprisingly, females were the most interested, at 64% of the audience, which was slightly older with 57% age 30 and over.
Lionsgate's formulaic “Safe” debuted in the sixth slot with a piddling estimate of $7.7 million from 2,266 locations. The action-thriller, about a down-on-his-luck former cop who decides to protect a young Chinese girl from the Russian Mafia, corrupt NYC cops and Triads, was directed by Boaz Yakin and stars Jason Statham and Catherine Chan. Lionsgate is distributing on behalf of the film’s producer IM Global, therefore limiting the distributor’s financial risk on the picture. “Safe” generated a CinemaScore of B+, while critics were split with 52% giving the film a positive nod.
Relativity’s “The Raven,” starring John Cusack and Luke Evans, placed seventh with a dreary $7.25 million estimate from 2,203 engagements. James McTeigue helmed the picture, about a madman who starts to commit horrific murders inspired by the work of Edgar Allen Poe. A young detective teams up with Poe to stop him from making his stories a reality. The picture was produced by Intrepid Pictures for $26 million, and was acquired by Relativity for about $4 million. Moviegoers gave the film a CinemaScore of B, but only 22% of the reviews were positive.