It’s deja vu for Kevin Hart at the box office with Sony/Screen Gem’s “Think Like a Man 2″ heading for an estimated $34 million opening weekend at the U.S. box office.
That’s the same turf occupied two years ago by the original “Think Like a Man,” which opened with $33.6 million. The sequel started solidly with an estimated $12 million Friday, including $1.8 million in Thursday evening shows.
Friday forecasts pegged “Think Like a Man” with another $13 million on Saturday and between $8 million and $9 million Sunday.
Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys,” the weekend’s other opener, appeared to be performing better than expected in recent days with an estimated $6 million on Friday — with trackers expecting an $18 million opening weekend to finish fourth behind the second weekends for “22 Jump Street” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”
Warner Bros. has aimed its “Jersey Boys” marketing at older audiences and fans of the highly successful Broadway musical. Reviews have been mixed a 57% score on Rotten Tomatoes while test screenings went well.
“Think Like a Man Too” stars Hart, Jerry Ferrara, Gabrielle Union, Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, Regina Hall and Taraji P. Henson and is set in Las Vegas — a durable location for comedies. It could wind up matching the original’s $96 million cume, a feat that would underline Hart’s star power, five months after his “Ride Along” opened with $41 million on its way to a $134 million U.S. cume.
The weekend will see comedy sequels dominating with Sony’s “22 Jump Street” likely to edge Fox-Dreamworks’ “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ for second place. “Jump Street” was heading for a $9.5 million Friday, setting the Jonah Hill-Channing Tatum vehicle up for a $28 million weekend — a 53% decline from its opening and enough to put it past the $110 million mark.
Predecessor “21 Jump Street” wound up with slightly over $200 million worldwide.
Estimates for “Dragon 2″ appeared heading for $8 million Friday and a $25 million weekend. That would give the toon a total of $95 million in its first 10 days in the U.S.
It’s also the ninth weekend in a row with a new release at the top of the U.S. box office charts — a record in the modern summer blockbuster era.
Disney’s fourth frame of “Maleficent” should lead the rest of the pack in fifth with $12 million for a cume around $185 million.