Screen Gems' ensemble comedy Think Like a Man -- based on Steve Harvey's bestselling advice book -- looks to be the film to finally unseat The Hunger Games, which has dominated the domestic box office for four consecutive weekends.
The African-American themed Think Like a Man scored a surprising $500,000 in Thursday midnight runs and is overperforming at the Friday box office. Early estimates show it grossing $8 million to $10 million for the day, with bullish box office observers betting on the higher number.
Think Like a Man, whose cast includes Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall and Kevin Hart, is about four men whose love lives are disrupted when their partners begin using advice from Harvey's book.
Warner Bros.' Lucky One should gross $6 million to $7.5 million for the day, also a good start and ahead of the $4 million Hunger Games is projected to earn. At those levels, Lucky One should open between $16 million and $18 million.
Sparks has become a brand name at the box office, and Lucky One, starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling, marks the seventh film adaptation of his books. Still, the female-driven pic is tracking to open noticeably less than Dear John ($30.5 million) and behind The Last Song ($25.3 million), both released in 2010.
Warners, which partnered with Village Roadshow on Lucky One, points out that movies based on Sparks' novels have great multiples; Nights in Rodanthe grossed $41.8 million after opening to only $13.4 million, and The Notebook debuted to $13.5 million and grossed $81 million.
The third new film of the weekend is Disney's latest nature documentary Chimpanzee, which is expected to open in the $7 million to $8 million range. The pic was co-produced by Disneynature and the Jane Goodall Institute, with proceeds of the opening weekend box office going to benefit Goodall's organization.
Lionsgate's Hunger Games has placed No. 1 every day since opening March 23 and is nearing $350 million domestically, while grossing north of $200 overseas.