By: Garrett Collins
Doing this column has made me adopt a not so new motto: expect the unexpected. Keeping this is mind, if you were to ask me last week whether a comedy follow-up to a 2012 adaptation of a Steve Harvey book was going to edge out a well-established comedy franchise like 22 Jump Street, I would have called you a liar. But this weekend, the unexpected has happened, as the Kevin Hart starring comedy Think Like A Man Too took in an estimated $30 million, placing itself in the number one spot of the week. Admittedly, this was a slow weekend at the movie box office, but this is still quite a feat for a comedy sequel. Yet more proof of the growing-by-the-minute popularity of Kevin Hart.
In second place stands 22 Jump Street, which made $29 million domestically. This marks a 49% fall from last week, an almost identical fall to that of this summer’s other comedy Neighbors. The Jonah Hill/Channing Tatum bumbling cop comedy is still finding an audience, and so far has made a total of $111.5 million. Normally the summer season is good for one, maybe two comedies to cross the $100 million mark. 2014 is on pace to have three. And people say June is all about big explosions & loud effects.
Standing in third place is How To Train Your Dragon 2, which had a second weekend total of $25.3 million, making its two week total domestic total gross stand at $95.2 million. At first glance, that would look like a victory for Dreamworks Animation. But given that the first film grew by such good word of mouth, earning nearly $500 million in the process, some pundits are calling this a disappointment for its sequel. Kind of a sad statement of our times when a film that’s on pace to make $170 million is being looked at as a ‘failure.’
Speaking of disappointments, this week’s other new release, the Clint Eastwood directed Jersey Boys, opened in fourth place with an estimated $13.5 million. The reason this is discouraging is because the film didn’t take the ‘slow roll out’ approach. It opened in a total of 2,905 theaters. Still, the movie did do better in its opening weekend than previous Eastwood films J Edgar ($11.5 million), Hereafter ($12 million), and Invictus ($8.6 million). So in a way, this can be classified as some sort of victory for the studio. As it is now, Jersey Boys is on pace to make over $50 million.
Fifth place was taken by that black winged witch Maleficent, which cast a $13 million spell this past weekend. The so-so film has so far earned over $186 million and is on pace to cross $215 million total domestically. Quite a victory for Disney, who had some Million Dollar Arm bills to pay.
In sixth place stands that Cruise guy’s science fiction thriller Edge of Tomorrow, which made $10.3 million, for a domestic total of $74.3 million. After coming out of the gate slowly, Tomorrow stands a very good chance of crossing the $100 million mark. Seventh place belongs to the Shailene Woodley starring drama Fault in our Stars, which made $8.6 million and is edging itself ever so much closer to $100 million. In fact, it is almost guaranteed to cross it by week’s end (as of now, it stands at $98.7 million). While I was not a huge fan of the film, I admit that it always feels good when a film made for only $12 million crosses that $100 million plateau. This can only make Woodley’s stock rise even higher than it was at before. And in a town that can’t seem to stop giving unfunny people like Melissa McCarthy their own starring vehicles, that is nice to see.
Eighth place belonged to X-Men: Days of Future Past, which added $6.2 million to its total, making it stand at $216.7 million. In ninth place is the little comedy that could, as Jon Favreau’s most excellent return to small comedy Chef made $1.8 million, and has made a total of $18.9 million. The film was made for almost nothing, and when it can outclass a new Adam Sandler comedy (which has already fallen out of the top ten), that makes its victory complete. Good for Favreau, and I hope this means more forays into comedy for him. Of course, that big lizard Godzilla is still breathing its radioactive fire on the box office, as it rounded out the top ten with another $1.8 million, making its total stand firm at $194.9 million. Will it cross $200 million?
Next week, these little comedies that could are more than likely to be blown straight from their chairs, when a little film by Michael Bay that features fighting robots called Transformers: Age of Extinction (review on Tuesday) opens wide. Also opening is a film called Snow Piercer. What do you think Amigos? Will this be the best Transformers film yet? Is that even a huge honor to hold? Let us know on the Facebook page!
Source: Box Office Mojo