Screen Gems is on a winning streak.
For the second week in a row, its Think Like a Man is the No. 1 movie in America. The movie, made for about $12 million, has now grossed more than $60 million.
It’s the third Screen Gems movie released this year — and the third to debut at No. 1.
The first, the R-rated Underworld Awakening, was released Jan. 20, and opened to $25.3 million. The movie, made for about $70 million, has grossed $160.1 million worldwide.
The second, The Vow, was the runaway hit of Valentine’s Day. The plot is preposterous: a woman awakens from coma with amnesia, and learns that she is married to a guy played by Channing Tatum. Instead of yelling, “Yesssss!” she resists the idea that he’s actually her husband.
Despite that, the movie did great. The PG-13 movie cost about $30 million to make, opened to $41.2 million and now has a worldwide total of $182 million.
Now, there’s Think Like a Man. The PG-13 movie is about a group of people who learn that their girlfriends are manipulating them by following advice they found in Steve Harvey’s real-life relationship advice book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. The men use the knowledge to get even.
The movie, targeted at African Americans, is drawing a broad audience. Because it’s well-done, it has likable characters and it’s funny.
Next up for Screen Gems: Resident Evil: Retribution. The R-rated movie, the fourth in the Resident Evil franchise, opens Sept. 14. Considering that the last film in the popular series, the 2010 Resident Evil: Afterlife opened to No. 1 in September 2010, expect this one to do pretty well.
All the success shows that the label’s president, Clint Culpepper, knows what he’s doing.
He’s run Screen Gems since 1998, and has consistently shown that he knows how to make modestly priced movies — and make them succeed at the box office. The formula of horror movies and urban comedies has delivered for him.
Culpepper’s not a guy to crow about his successes, but his string of wins deserves some recognition.
(Corporate parent Sony, incidentally, is enjoying the strong year as well, and has a killer slate that includes MIB3, The Amazing Spider-Man, and the comedy That’s My Boy all three of which look like ridiculous fun. The studio’s Total Recall remake also is sure to generate some significant interest, and the Meryl Streep-Tommy Lee Jones Hope Springs looks charming.)
– Joshua L. Weinstein