Box-Office Preview: 'Think Like a Man Too' to Out-Sing 'Jersey Boys'

12:40 PM PST 06/18/2014 by Pamela McClintock
Matt Kennedy/Screen Gems
"Think Like a Man Too"

UPDATED: The ensemble Kevin Hart comedy is aiming for $30 million plus while Clint Eastwood's jukebox musical is tracking for an underwhelming debut in the $12 million to $13 million range.

In another win for Kevin Hart, Screen Gems' sequel Think Like a Man Too is on course for a $30 million-plus debut at the North American box office, where it could find itself in a close battle for No. 1 with fellow Sony comedy 22 Jump Street and family film How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Director Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys isn't looking so lucky. The $40 million film adaptation of the hit stage musical is tracking to open in the $12 million to $13 million range, although Warner Bros. insiders believe the movie could do more since it's the first summer title for older adults. 

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Think Like a Man Too, reteaming director Tim Story and Hart, cost roughly $24 million to produce and stars Hart opposite Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall and Gabrielle Union. The first Think Like a Man debuted to $33.6 million in April 2012.

Inspired by Steve Harvey's best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, the sequel sees the various couples travel to Las Vegas for a wedding. But plans for a romantic weekend quickly go awry.

Jersey Boys charts the meteoric rise and fall of 1950s rock 'n' roll band The Four Seasons. And while $12 million to $13 million would be in the wheelhouse for an Eastwood film, his movies usually don't open in summer, when expectations are much higher (Blood Work, released in 2002, was his last summer title).

Eastwood's Jersey Boys doesn't sport any A-list actors and is receiving mixed reviews. Still, both the director and the material are well-known brands. Jersey Boys, opening on Broadway in 2005, won four 2006 Tony Awards, including best musical. It has been restaged all over the world, including in London, and has had two North American national tours, the most recent in 2011.

At the same time, musical adaptations have a decidedly mixed track record at the box office. Hits include Mamma Mia!, which debuted to $27.8 million in summer 2008, and Hairspray, which launched to $27.5 million in summer 2007. On the other end of the spectrum, Rock of Ages only pulled in $14.4 million in summer 2012.

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Jersey Boys does have the advantage of appealing to older adults who aren't interested in summer action tentpoles, meaning the movie could have exceptionally strong legs. The film's cast is led by John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza and Christopher Walken.

Among holdovers, Sony's 22 Jump Street could beat out the competition and stay at No. 1 in its second weekend. The comedy debuted to $57.1 million last weekend and has earned nearly $64 million to date domestically. DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon 2 is also in the mix after opening to $49.5 million last weekend. The animated film's domestic cume to date is $60.4 million.

Expanding nationwide this weekend is David Michod's Australian drama The Rover, starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. A24 Films launched the indie film last weekend in Los Angeles and New York.

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