Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?” didn’t have any wedding day jitters at the box office as it debuted Friday with an estimated gross of $7.1 million from 2011 locations.
The Lionsgate urban laffer, directed by and starring Perry, is easily expected to win the weekend, beating out new wide entrants “We Own the Night” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age.”
Coming in No. 2 on Friday was “Own the Night,” Sony’s crime drama toplining Mark Whalberg and Joaquin Phoenix. Pic grossed an estimated $3.7 million from 2,362 locations. That put it in a close race with George Clooney starrer “Michael Clayton,” which grossed an estimated $3.3 million as it expanded strongly from limited runs in New York and Gotham to 2,511 locations nationwide.
Universal-Working Title’s sequel “Golden Age,” which returns Cate Blanchett to the bigscreen as the famous monarch, was unable to place among the top five films on Friday as it grossed an estimated $2 million from 2,001 runs for the No. 6 spot. It’s difficult to compare the sequel’s opening to the 2001 “Elizabeth,” which was a limited release.
Disney holdover “The Game Plan” continued strong, coming in No. 4 on Friday with an estimated gross of $3 million from 3,128 screens as it entered its third frame and crossed the $50 million mark with a cume of $50.9 million.
In its second frame, DreamWorks-Paramount’s Ben Stiller laffer “The Heartbreak Kid” placed No. 5 on Friday with an estimated gross of $2.3 million from 3,229 locations for a cume of $20.9 million. That’s a 51% decline from its Friday opening.
Among limited bows, Ryan Gosling starrer “Lars and the Real Girl” posted the strongest per screen average among new players. Opening in seven locations, the MGM-Sidney Kimmel Entertainment pic grossed an estimated $26,000 for a per screen average of $3,643.
Sony Pictures Classics’ “Sleuth” grossed an estimated $13,000 from nine locations as it opened Friday for a per screen average of $1,448. Remake was directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Michael Caine and Jude Law.
The strong opening of Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?” follows the success he enjoyed when starring in and directing “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” which had a Friday opening of $7.4 million in 2005, and “Madea’s Family Reunion,” which had a Friday opening of $10.5 million in 2006. In February of this year, “Daddy’s Little Girl”–which Perry directed but didn’t star in–grossed $4.6 million in its Wednesday debut.
Also among wide new entrants this weekend, Yari Film Group’s sports spoof “The Final Season” failed to rally much laughter, grossing an estimated $187,000 from 1,011 locations on Friday.