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Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Hunger Games Meets Its Match—and So Does Zac Efron






'The Hunger Games' box-office winning streak is history.
In an ordinary weekend, it might have been Zac Efron's The Lucky One that wrested the crown away from the dystopian blockbuster.But, as things turned out, another new film enjoyed an extraordinary weekend.


Think Like a Man, the ensemble comedy spawned from comic/radio-star Steve Harvey's best-selling relationship book, grossed a whopping $33 million, more than $10 million than the Efron film, which played on 1,000 more screens.
Memo to New Year's Eve: That's how it's done.


Think Like a Man is Hollywood's biggest-opening romantic comedy since the 2010 release of NYE's older, more successful sibling, Valentine's Day.


The No. 1 finish was not unexpected—although its gross was. Conservative studio estimates had pegged the film, made for about $12 million, for an opening in the high teens.


For the movie's breakout star, Kevin Hart, the debut is his second straight eye-opener. Last year, Hart's $750,000 indie concert film, Laugh at My Pain, was a word-of-mouth hit.


Also, yes, for those keeping score at home, Think Like a Man is now the top-opening movie of Chris Brown's film career.
While it settled for second place, with $22.8 million, The Lucky One was a positive development for Efron, whose track record took a hit in the aforementioned NYE.


The film is Efron's biggest opener since 2009's 17 Again, and proves him more capable at this time of opening of a romantic drama than fellow twentysomething Robert Pattinson. (But, no, he's no Channing Tatum.)
The Hunger Games, meanwhile, fell to third place, with a still-solid $14.5 million. Prior to getting trumped by Think Like a Man, the Jennifer Lawrence film had spent three weeks at No. 1. 

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