“Think Like a Man Too” got the party started on Thursday, racking up $1.8 million in evening shows.
The Sony Pictures and Screen Gems film began playing at 7 p.m. in 1,825 locations.
The sequel to 2012′s surprise hit adaptation of Steve Harvey’s “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” self-help book follows Kevin Hart, Jerry Ferrara, Gabrielle Union and others on a Las Vegas bacchanal.
By way of comparison, the first “Think Like a Man” debuted to $550,000 for midnight late shows, en route to a $33.6 million debut.
The sequel unspools across 2,200 screens this weekend and is on track to generate north of $32 million. It faces fierce competition for first place on the box office charts from “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ and “22 Jump Street,” both of which are expected to hit the $30 million mark in their second weekend of release.
“Jersey Boys,” Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of the Broadway musical, also premieres and is expected to generate $12 million this weekend.
Overall, the box office is looking softer than it was a year ago when “World War Z” and “Monsters University” jockeyed for audiences’ attentions. In a note to investors on Friday, MKM Partners’ Eric Handler predicted that that this weekend’s top ten films could be down nearly 40% from the same frame a year ago.