GLOBAL BOX OFFICE

World Box Office June 16-22

Laughter rang louder than music as Think Like a Man Too finished first ahead of Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of Broadways’ hit Jersey Boys to take this weekend’s top domestic honors with a $30 million close. The sequel from director Tim Story, based on Steve Harvey’s life-coaching book for women, Act like A Lady, Think Like a Man, finished just below the original’s $33.6 million debut. Although sequels are generally expected to outdo their predecessors, Sony will not be disappointed with the performance of their $24 million comedy. With the very specific and under-fed demographic of African-Americans seeking relatable light comedy squarely within its sights and a tried and proven cast in Kevin Heart, Michael Early, Meagan Good, and Regina Hall, this film had several things going for it from the outset. Figures from abroad will have to wait for next weekend when Man 2 gets its first string of international releases but if the original is anything to judge by, sales should be fairly slow; it earned just $4.5 million from 12 foreign territories.

Mr. Eastwood’s latest directorial effort with Warner Brothers had a more problematic showing. Released as counter-programming to both the World Cup and the slew of young-adult focused releases typical of the summer season, Jersey Boys was in for a rough time from the outset. His picture, based on the Tony Award winning play of the same name chronicling the rise and fall of 1960’s crooners The Four Seasons, made only $13.5 million from its opening effort. Reviews were mixed, but the film’s core audience of older men and women, of which 72% were over the age of 50, gave it a solid A cinema score. Foreign numbers offered little consolation. Clint’s latest offering took in just $1.6 million from 9 territories abroad. Any hope for a turnaround rests on older audience’s tendency to take their time in getting to the theater and the possibility of a successful awards push.

Sony can now count two consecutive home-market wins after the remarkable showing of 22 Jump Street, which came in second this time around with a $29 million gross. This amounts to a 49% drop from last weekend’s tally. Overseas the film took in another $14.1 million, much of which came from a $6.5 million number one debut in Australia. It finished first as well in Denmark and Holland with earnings of $465,000 and $565,000 respectively. The original, which was produced on half of this installment’s budget, ended up with $138 million domestically and a $201 million global cumulative. With $149.6 million of ticket sales recorded in just two weeks, this summer’s sequel will certainly cross that line before the end of its run. Hollywood’s proclivity for milking a sure thing fairly ensures a slew of lookalike Hill/Tatum comedies in the pipeline, as they are now the most profitable comedic duo in the world. 21 and 22 were certainly fine destinations, but we’ll have to wait and see how many more addresses there are on this gold-paved block.

After last weekend’s defeat, How to Train Your Dragon 2 played catch-up with Jump Street again, finishing just behind it in third with $25.3 million at the domestic box office. 20th Fox International Distribution pushed the DreamWorks production into 28 new territories this weekend for a total of 54 and was able to stir up $43.5 million. The film now stands at a $171.4 million cumulative.

These are good numbers, but not good enough outrun the relentless march of Disney’s Maleficent. The witch was back and still in deadly form as this fairytale of a film added $44.7 million from 54 territories to claim first in the foreign box office race. Chinese audiences came out in droves to give it a number one debut of $20.3 million. A fifth-place domestic take of $13 million brought what is turning out to be one of the summer’s biggest hits to a comprehensive box office cumulative of $521.6 million, the largest to date in Angelina Jolie’s career.

Godzilla received the Middle Kingdom’s blessing as well with $15 million of ticket sales coming in its second week in Chinese theatres. Fellow holdover Edge of Tomorrow made $21.5 million abroad this weekend, and The Fault in Our Stars trailed closely with $20 million from 45 markets.

The men and women of Rentrak’s box-office reporting service will be having quite a busy time this week, as Transformers: Age of Extinction drops over the next frame and looks likely to outdo all of our current summer blockbusters.

Lorenzo Soria