Auds ‘Man’ up at Friday box office

Dating comedy looks to usurp 'Hunger Games' for weekend's top draw

Sony’s “Think Like a Man” is billowing at the domestic box office, with the Screen Gems comedy headed for $10 million to $11 million Friday for a projected weekend tally of $26 million.

Easily dislodging “The Hunger Games” at the No. 1 spot, “Man” dominated early ticket sales on Fandango this week while earning an impressive $550,000 in Thursday midnight runs, suggesting the ensemble comedy is very much hitting its targeted African-American audience.

“Anytime you can fill a void in the marketplace, you have this type of success story,” one studio exec said of the early returns.

Based on Steve Harvey’s bestselling dating book, “Think Like a Man” stars Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson and Gabrielle Union and was produced for $12 million. “Man” is currently playing in 2,015 theaters, yielding a stellar per-screen average of nearly $12,500.

The weekend’s other wide release, Warner Bros.’ “The Lucky One,” is also clicking with auds. The Nicholas Sparks adaptation, which opened in 3,155 locations, is on track for a $7.5 million Friday take and a hearty weekend cume of $18 million-$20 million.

Starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling, “The Lucky One” tells the story of a Marine who returns home from Iraq to search for a woman he believes was his good-luck charm during the war. Blythe Danner co-stars in the romancer.

Disneynature’s new doc “Chimpanzee” swung to $2.5 million in Friday grosses for a projected weekend tally of $6 million-$8 million.

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