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Weekend Box Office: Think Like a Man, Lucky One Lead Romantic Charge

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By Chris Kavan - 04/22/12 at 11:38 PM CT

A one-two punch of romance led the box office over the weekend. One took the comedic approach, the other a more dramatic route, but both put up impressive numbers and helped knock The Hunger Games from the top spot.

Opening in first was Think Like a Man with $33 million. Opening in just 2015 theater (as opposed to the 3155 for The Lucky One), the per theater average was a whopping $16,377 - third best for the year behind The Hunger Games and The Lorax. It's opening was better than every Tyler Perry movie save for Madea Goes to Jail ($41 million). The movie manages to strike the right balance between romance, comedy and capturing a large audience that read Steve Harvey's Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. The audience was largely female (63%) and mostly older (62% over 30) and it received an A cinema score.

Although The Lucky One has to settle for second place, the $22.8 million it made is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, it ranks just behind Dear John ($30.5 million) as the best Nicolas Sparks adaptation. It was also a good sign for Zac Efron, whose last opening, Charlie St. Cloud, only made $12.4 million in its opening. Where Think Like a Man captured an older audience, The Lucky One picked up the younger crowd with 52% under the age of 25 - although females once again made up the majority of that audience (76%). The movie earned a solid B+ amongst all audience, an A- from the female side.

The week's other new release, Chimpanzee managed a few new feats on its own. The fourth place opening of $10.2 million not only represented a best for the Disneynature series, but the best opening for any nature documentary period. In fact, it now holds the third best opening for a documentary behind Justin Bieber: Never Say Never ($29.5 million) and Fahrenheit 9/11 ($23.9 million). Audiences appreciated this one as well, also awarding it an A.

All the new blood meant the end of The Hunger Games string of appearances atop the box office. Don't feel so bad, the 32% it dropped is its strongest week-to-week hold yet, and with a third place $14.5 million brought its total up to $356.9 million - and it's running behind Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2 by under $500,000 though the same time period and it should ultimately be able to top that films $381 million total before it reaches the end of its run.

The Three Stooges lost a decent chunk of its family audience to Chimpanzee, dropping 46% and rounding out the top five with $9.2 million. The movie has made $29.3 million and will make back its $30 million budget. It's certainly exceeded all the expectations I had for it.

Also in its second weekend, The Cabin in the Woods dropped 47.4% and landed in sixth place with $7.75 million for a $27 million total. After receiving a crippling C score, that drop is light compared to what it could have been - through nowhere near as good as the 29% drop Insidious managed.

Another romantic comedy will try to take the top spot this Friday when The Five Year Engagement hits. Families will have another choice in The Pirates! Band of Misfits while Edgar Allen Poe turns crime fighter in The Raven and Jason Statham once again will probably kick someone really hard and drive really fast in Safe.

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