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Weekend Box Office: Man Rules, Boys Drool

View Chris Kavan's Profile

By Chris Kavan - 06/22/14 at 11:30 PM CT

As anticipated, it was a battle between sequels at the box office. And it was a much closer one than I think most were expecting. But it was a much different story than last year when the top three films made over $190 million while the entire top 12 this year could only account for $142.6 million - a steep 39% difference in total. Still, we knew it was going to be an uphill battle to match the stellar 2013 summer. But there are still going to be winners and losers - and this week is no exception.

1) THINK LIKE A MAN TOO

Kevin Hart has had a good run and while the top-grossing movie of the week could be considered extending that winning streak, I'm guessing Think Like a Man Too was hoping for more. With a $30 million opening, the ensemble sequel took the weekend, if just by a hair. The film couldn't match the opening of Think Like a Man ($33.6 million), though it was pretty much on par with The Best Man Holiday ($30.1 million) and best Hart's February About Last Night ($25.6 million). The audience matched the original film's 63% female opening, and was also 59% over 30. They did award the film an "A" cinemascore, but even with decent word of mouth in play, there is little chance of it hitting the original film's $91.5 million total and a more likely total is going to be around the $80 million mark. Opening in June, the film faced a bit stiffer competition this time around, but don't count Hart out - as he has proven time and time again he is a worthy box office draw and that is likely going to be the case in the future.

2) 22 JUMP STREET

The buddy comedy nearly took the top spot for the second week in a row, but had to settle for second with $29 million instead. That represents a 49% drop - pretty much the same drop that Neighbors took in its second weekend out. But the push helped 22 Jump Street cross the $100 million mark with ease, and it's now sitting at $111.5 million. It is assured to cross the $150 million mark and is still looking a total around the $170 million mark.

3) HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

If studios were hoping the animated sequel was going to hold up as well as its predecessor, they were in for another disappointing weekend. After a weaker-than-expected opening - How to Train Your Dragon 2 didn't save itself with a second-weekend comeback. The film dropped 49% to $25.3 million - much steeper than the original film's 34% drop. The film now stands at $95.17 million. The best the film can hope for at this point is around a $170 million - a bit higher than its reported $145 million budget, but not nearly as much as a lone animated film should be looking at.

4) JERSEY BOYS

Clint Eastwood hasn't exactly been on a hot streak lately - and one wonders why he thought directing an R-rated musical (even one based on a fairly popular Broadway show) would save his reputation. Granted even a fourth place $13.5 million could be considered an improvement, as it opened higher than J. Edgar ($11.2 million), Hereafter ($12 million) and Invictus ($8.6 million). But in comparison, it couldn't match the opening of Rock of Ages ($14.4 million), a movie that was considered a disappointment on its own. But the studio tried to spin this as a win - as they were courting an older audience to compete with an animated family film and a pair of comedies. In that aspect, it succeeded, as it averaged 71% over 50 years of age - and an "A-" Cinemascore. Given that older audiences tend to give their support over a longer period of time, Jersey Boys could save some face - best case scenario it will hit $50 million by the time it ends its run.

5) MALEFICENT

The Angelina Jolie-led fantasy had another good weekend, dropping just 30% after four weekends. It added $13 million to its total, which now stands at $185.9 million. That helped it cross its $180 million budget and it still has plenty left in that tank - and it will have no problem crossing the $200 million mark - meaning it will likely wind up ahead of summer tent-pole pictures Godzilla (currently at $194.9 million) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($199.4 million), and that is a feat I have a feeling very few saw coming.

Outside the top five: The post-apocalyptic drama The Rover expanded from its limited release run, and though it jumped from 33rd to 16th place (adding 594 theaters to its count helps) it averaged a weak $590,000-per-theater average for a total of just $500,000. With the disappointing response, it is likely not going to expand further and has not chance of earning back its $12 million budget.

Next week Transformers: Age of Extinction will once again remind us of why we love (and hate) Michael Bay. The only form of competition comes in the form of another drama centered around music from John Carney (Once) - Begin Again - which is like setting up a Roomba versus The Terminator.

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