There will be lots of talk comparing this film to the Tyler Perry cannon, but know this: If the estimates hold up, Tim Story's decidely secular romantic comedy will have opened higher than every Perry feature save the $41 million debut of Madea Goes To Jail. In fact, aside from that Perry release, I can't think of another African-American comedy or drama that opened as high as this one perhaps ever. How well the film holds up over the long haul is an open question, and arguably *that's* where the attempt at cross-racial outreach come into play. If Screen Gems can convince white audiences that this isn't so much a 'black film' as much as it's a Valentine's Day-type ensemble piece that happens to star actors of color, it may have strong legs as its sampled by general moviegoers of all races for the next month (What To Expect When You're Expecting debuts May 18th). Tim Story's 2002 Barbershop parlayed a $20 million debut into a $75 million total while Screen Gems opened Obsessed to $28 million and finished with $68 million just over three years ago this weekend. A multiplier right in-between those two will net a $100 million domestic total for the $13 million picture. Next weekend will tell the tale. The African American moviegoing demographic is a consistently starved one, so there is obviously big profit to be made with mainstream popcorn entertainment that just happens to star actors of color. We'll see whether Hollywood takes notice *this time* or whether its success is written off yet again as a fluke while they greenlight John Carter 2: The Quickening.
Titanic 3D has $52 million in US ticket sales while it (once again) burns up the international waters to the tune of $175 million and counting (international numbers to be updated later). The top new release of last weekend, The Three Stooges, earned $9.2 million on its second weekend (-45%) bringing its ten-day total to $29 million. It's pacing slightly ahead of the Farrelly Bros' last three films (Hall Pass, The Heartbreak Kid, and Fever Pitch) and is still looking like a $50 million finisher. American Reunion has $48 million (with an inexplicably high $56 million overseas to boot) while 21 Jump Street has $127 million thus far. Wrath of the Titans has $77 million domestic as it nears $275 million worldwide and Mirror Mirror has $55 million on our shores and $120 million worldwide. Finally, Lockout dropped an okay 50% off a lousy $6 million opening weekend, grossing $3 million and earning $11 million in ten days.
That's it for this weekend. Join us next time for the pre-summer dump, as four (!) new wide releases enter the fray. The Raven casts John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe solving murder mysteries, the aforementioned Pirates: Band of Misfits debuts domestically, Lionsgate releases another Jason Statham vehicle in Safe and Universal debuts the Jason Segel/Emily Blunt romantic comedy The Five-Year Engagement.