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Sony and Screen Gems’ romantic thriller The Perfect Guy is exceeding expectations at the North American box office, where it’s on course for a $25 million-$26 million opening after earning $10 million Friday from 2,200 theaters.
It marks the fifth weekend in a row that a movie featuring African-American actors in the lead roles is topping the charts. Universal’s Straight Outta Compton won three consecutive weekends, followed by Sony/TriStar’s Christian drama War Room over Labor Day.
Following at No. 2 is M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit, which is likewise doing better than expected. The horror thriller, distributed by Universal on behalf of Shyamalan and producer Jason Blum, grossed $9.2 million from 3,068 theaters Friday fro a projected $21.7 million weekend. That’s one of the lowest nationwide starts for the filmmaker, but The Visit was made for a modest $5 million.
Perfect Guy, directed by David M. Rosenthal and written by Tyger Williams, stars Sanaa Lathan as a successful lobbyist who begins a torrid affair with a charming, dangerous stranger (Michael Ealy), just as her former boyfriend (Morris Chestnut) resurfaces.
The movie, nabbing an A- CinemaScore, cost lost than most Screen Gems titles, or $12 million.
Ealy has starred in a number of films for Screen Gems, including the Think Like a Man series and About Last Night. Lathan’s credits include Universal’s box-office hit The Best Man. She’s also an accomplished Broadway actress who was nominated for her performance in A Raisin in the Sun. Chestnut (Kick-Ass 2, The Call) also starred in the first Think Like a Man.
Shyamalan, whose studio films have struggled, made The Visit on his own. The comedic-laced thriller follows the saga of two children who are sent to spend time with their grandparents, only to find evil lurking.
The filmmaker showed an early cut of The Visit to Blum, who then brought it to Universal, where Blum has a distribution deal. Universal, which agreed to release the film, believes The Visit will be a big draw for teenagers, thanks to its friendly PG-13 rating.
Overseas, The Visit opens in 14 markets, including Spain and the U.K.
War Room should come in No. 3 for the weekend with an estimated $8 million, followed by Robert Redford and Nick Nolte‘s A Walk in the Woods with $5 million (the film is expanding into a total of 2,139 theaters this weekend) and Straight Outta Compton with $4 million.
Also opening this weekend is IDP/Samuel Goldwyn’s Christian drama 90 Minutes in Heaven, starring Hayden Christensen and Kate Bosworth. The film, directed by Michael Polish, is based on Don Piper‘s biography recounting how he spent 90 minutes in heaven following a horrific car crash. 90 Minutes is the first title from Giving Films, a sister company of Family Christian Stores.
90 Minutes in Heaven grossed $740,000 Friday from 838 theaters for an estimated $2.4 million weekend, putting it at No. 9.
New offerings at the specialty box office include Oren Moverman‘s homeless drama, Time Out of Mind, starring Richard Gere, and Sleeping With Other People, starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie.
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