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article imageComedy is king as 'Think Like a Man 2' wins

By Tim O'Brien     Jun 22, 2014 in Entertainment
It wasn't just a comedy win at the box office, it was another win for Kevin Hart. He is on a roll — or make that role. His roles are helping him take his films to the top spot, or at least close.
"Think Like a Man 2" took in an estimated $30 million over the weekend and is another stop at the top for Hart. Last week's winner "22 Jump Street," also a comedy, is at No. 2 with $29 million. Move over superheroes as comedy is king of late. Perhaps superhero and sci fi fatigue did set in, especially with the female audiences. While "22 Jump Street" appeared to play as a date movie, "Think Like a Man 2" was helped by the female crowd, in a big way.
"Think Like a Man 2" boasts a cast that aimed to please, and it did. It was directed by Tim Story and written by Keith Merryman, David A. Newman and Steve Harvey. Besides Hart, a few other stars are Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Terrence J. Corwley, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union and Dennis Haysbert.
Hart starred in "Ride Along" and "About Last Night" earlier this year. "Ride Along" opened on top while "About Last Night" opened at No. 2. In fact, "Ride Along" spent four weeks at No. 1. That film was a surprise in the usually slow month of January.
1. "Think Like a Man 2" - $30 million
2. "22 Jump Street" - $29 million
3. "How To Train Your Dragon 2" - $25.3 million
4. "Jersey Boys" - $13.5 million
5. "Maleficent" - $13 million
But the one-and-done box office champion formula is also playing out. It has been a short stop at the top spot. A few of the films have over-achieved while others won out by a real lack of solid competition. But, before all the celebrating goes overboard, "Think Like a Man 2" did not match the opener for "Think Like a Man." This weekend was a slow one, overall, for the numbers.
Also, many are getting out of the gate and have impressive Fridays and then dip a little too much on Saturday. Perhaps word-of-mouth is playing a bigger role than some want to admit. Since "The Other Woman" won, there has not been a repeat winner at the box office. "Captain America" won three in a row from April 4-24.
The takeaway is that the superhero films really didn't dominate week after week with box office wins. Another takeaway is that "How To Train Your Dragon 2" did not do as well as expected the first weekend and still is not.
Meanwhile, "Jersey Boys" is playing well to the older crowds. That makes sense when looking deeper. The music was popular when the older generation was around to hear it for the first time. It also shows that taking a smash Broadway production and putting it on the screen doesn't always result in huge box office numbers.
One might not want to put this is the musical category either, but stick it with the musical biography genre. It is not like "The Sound of Music" or "Grease," or even "Frozen." The characters are not breaking out in song and dance while eating lunch or walking along the top of a mountain. They are singers and performers and this is their story.
By skewing older, however, it means "Jersey Boys" has limited overall appeal. The other demographics not showing up will keep this one on the low end. But, the older crowds do not need to see it the first weekend out and that can help in the long run for films like this. The music really matters, as the back story is window dressing and often gets in the way.
With a few projections being off this year, it will make the estimates for "Transformers 4" more interesting. Beware that the buzz may not pan out. That all depends on if one hears the buzz and pays attention — or cares.
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