Sony Screen Gems "Think Like a Man" is on track to repeat as the No. 1 film at the box office this weekend, fending off the disappointing debut of Judd Apatow's "The Five-Year Engagement" and several other new entries.
The African-American ensemble film, based on an advice book by comedian Steve Harvey, took in $5.5 million from 2,015 locations Friday, which projects to a $16 million weekend and is on its way to topping $50 million overall.
"The Five-Year Engagement," an R-rated comedy from Universal, landed with a thud.
Co-written by Jason Segel and Nick Stoller, it took in just $3.5 million from 2,936 locations Friday. That puts it on track for a $10.3 million weekend -- around half of what some observers outside the studio had predicted..
it will likely fiinish in the No. 3 spot, behind another holdover, "The Lucky One." The Warner Bros. movie, based on a Nicholas Spark romance novel and starring Zac Ephron, took in $3.9 million from 3,175 locations.
The week's other new films couldn't match those numbers, at least on Friday.
"Pirates! Band of Misfits," an animated family film distributed by Sony, managed $3 million from 3,358 locations, but it could get a good bump from the kiddie crowd on Saturday and Sunday.
Lionsgate's Jason Statham thriller "Safe" reported $2.5 at 2,266 theaters and "The Raven," Relativity's Edgar Allen Poe film starring John Cusack, did $2.5 million at 2,203 locations.
This week's projected overall take of $105 million is 30 percent off last year's comparable frame, when "Fast Five" opened to $86 million and drove a $151 million overall haul. The arrival next week of "The Avengers" will turn that around.
Jason Segel and Nick Stoller should give Universal the No. 1 movie in America this weekend with “The Five-Year Engagement,” an R-rated romantic comedy that the pair co-wrote.
“Engagement” is the story of a couple – Segel and Emily Blunt -- that spends half a decade in the murky waters between getting engaged and actually tying the knot. It is expected to open at close to $20 million from 2,936 locations, though the studio would push the estimate a little lower.
Segal and Stoller, who met on Judd Apatow’s “Undeclared” and worked together on “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Gulliver’s Travels,” last partnered on “The Muppets,” which earned a sequel by raking in $158 million worldwide.
“Engagement” won’t match that figure, but it only cost the studio around $30 million.
The film is tracking most strongly among women apparently eager to get another peek at Segel’s doughy figure. Overall, just four percent of filmgoers said it is their first choice, but 72 percent are aware of it.
It scored a 60 percent on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and 63 percent on Metacritic.
None of the other movies opening this weekend is expected to match Universal’s latest offering, which is why “Think Like a Man,” the top grosser from last week, appears likely to take second with a mid-teens showing. That would represent a 50 percent to 60 percent drop, but the ensemble comedy should still pass the $50 million mark this weekend.
The Zac Efron-starring “The Lucky One,” a strong second last week, should dip to third, but could also end up neck and neck with a new film -- “The Pirates! Band of Misfits.”
The Columbia Pictures flick, which follows a crew of amateur pirates voiced by Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek and others, is expected to bow in the $10 million-$12 million range. Co-produced by Sony Animation and Aardman Animation ("Chicken Run"), it has drawn strong reviews, charting an 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 72 percent on Metacritic.
Overseas audiences have already spent more than $55 million to see the film, which is roughly what it cost the studio.
The other two wide releases this weekend are Relativity’s “The Raven” and Lionsgate’s “Safe.”
The former, for which Relativity paid $4 million to distribute domestically, is tracking in the $8 million to $10 million range and opens on around 2,200 screens.
Also read: 'The Raven' Review: Never Mind the Pendulum, This is the Pits
It stars John Cusack as the iconic poet whose eerie stories come to life as his own death nears. It has not garnered strong reviews, with an 18 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but tracking is solid. It has greater audience awareness than any of the new films save “Engagement” and 34 percent of those polled said they were definitely going to see it.