For the first time in a month, The Hunger Games is not the number one movie this weekend. That spot belongs to Think Like a Man, an ensemble romantic comedy based on a Steve Harvey self-help book. But the dystopian teen thriller wasn't even number two — instead, the charm of Zac Efron and the inexplicable appeal of Nicholas Sparks launched The Lucky One into second place.
Both top two films greatly exceeded expectations: Think Like a Man earned $33 million, while The Lucky One earned $22.8 million. And yes, The Hunger Games took in a respectable $14.5 million, thereby bringing its total to $356.9 million. No one's really hurting here.
The Lucky One is notable in that it's yet another attempt to launch Efron to leading man stardom. He's got that teenybopper appeal, but the High School Musical set hasn't necessarily graduated to more adult romantic dramas. Nevertheless, The Lucky One's high numbers reflect Efron's increased heartthrob potential.
"The Lucky One's" Zac Efron, meanwhile, has been trying to shed his teen pinup image as he attempts to become a serious leading man. The weekend results for his latest film indicate he may be making some ground with that endeavor, considering his last weepy drama "Charlie St. Cloud" opened only with $12.4 million in 2010.
Think Like a Man, however, is an even bigger success story — and not just because it took the number one spot. The film only cost Screen Gems $13 million, which makes its take all the more impressive. And it's a movie with a predominantly black cast — not always a guarantee of box office success. In fact, Think Like a Man earned more than the last two Tyler Perry films, Madea's Big Happy Family and Why Did I Get Married Too?
A romantic comedy in the lead, followed by a romantic drama. Is romance a bigger draw than action? Probably not. I guess we'll have to wait and see how The Avengers pans out.