Sony pic stays strong before tentpole season

Limited audience interest in the four films debuting in the April 27-29 weekend left room for Sony-Screen Gems’ stalwart holdover “Think Like a Man” to claim its second straight domestic win, grossing $17.6 million for a Stateside cume north of $60 million.

The pic got help from “Marvel’s The Avengers,” which drew interest away from the weekend’s new entries — Sony-Aardman Animation’s “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” and Universal’s “The Five-Year Engagement.” Both titles wound up underperforming, earning $11.1 million and $10.6 million, respectively.

“Think Like a Man” scored all 10 top U.S. engagements, with notable playdates in Chicago, Atlanta and Baltimore. The pic’s $33 million opening the previous weekend marked the second-highest domestic bow ever for Screen Gems — behind this year’s $41 million debut of “The Vow.”

More impressive are “Man’s” legs: The film, which dropped 48% in its second frame, had been expected to fall somewhere north of 50%. As a comparison, the pic already has outperformed installments from two of Screen Gems’ most successful franchises — “Awakening” and “Evolution” from the “Underworld” series and the most recent “Resident Evil” offering, “Afterlife.”

Still, “Man” faces a tough road going forward, with summer tentpoles on the way.

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