The Best Man Holiday, contrary to most estimates — including Universal Studio’s — broke over $30 million dollars in ticket sales its opening weekend. It came in second to Thor: The Dark World, and even bested it in this past Friday’s total box office take.
Thor: The Dark World thundered up $38.5 million.the R-rated romantic comedy The Best Man Holiday opened 15 years after the first movie of the series, The Best Man. It has already earned over three times the $9 million that the first film by Malcolm D. Lee earned in its weekend debut.
However, with the expected blockbuster, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, opening this coming weekend, it might be difficult for The Best Man Holiday to continue its box office momentum.
The Best Man Holiday was a somewhat surprising challenger to Thor: The Dark World, perhaps especially as it appealed to a mostly female and African-American audience, but, the original has a large fan base of people who have seen it multiple times on video, DVD, and the television, who were eager to see the sequel.
Also, The Best Man Holiday has a very strong and talented ensemble cast, including Taye Diggs, Melissa De Sousa, Terrence Howard, Regina Hall, Sanaa Lathan, Monica Calhoun, Nia Long, and Morris Chestnut. Still, the biggest reason why The Best Man Holiday has bested most ticket sale estimates is that it’s a very well-made movie with an appealing plot.
While Universal has directed much of its publicity to attracting the female, African-American audience that also were the main fan base for The Best Man, it has a broader appeal. Anyone who loves watching great romantic comedies will enjoy watching both The Best Man and The Best Man Holiday.
There has become relatively little distinction between what were once considered by many to be movies which were directed towards a primarily African-American audience, and movies, in general.
According to Nikki Rocco, Universal’s head of distribution, “the key was this is a really good movie.”
For example, Lee Daniels’ The Butler has had a very broad appeal, and has so far proved it by earning $115.5 million at the box office. Also, 12 Years a Slave has been garnishing a huge critical success and is an Oscar-contender. It has taken in $25 million, which is not much in terms of Hollywood’s major blockbusters, but that’s with it being shown in limited release.
African-Americans have made up 87 percent of the audiences for The Best Man Holiday, with 75 percent being females. But, it only cost $17 million to make, and with its box office take thus far, director Lee said that if he decides to make another sequel, “it won’t take 14 years.” It has also bested distributor Universal Studio estimates of how much it would earn in its debut by about $10 million.
The Best Man had an overall initial box office take of $34 million. The Best Man Holiday will likely surpass that by Wednesday at the latest.
Will The Best Man Holiday do as well as Think Like a Man at the box office?
With The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opening next weekend, and other holiday blockbusters like Wolf of Wall Street and The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug due to open in the near future, it might be difficult for The Best Man Holiday to have overall box office ticket sales as high as Think Like a Man.
Still, the initial numbers are very similar. Think Like a Man did somewhat better its opening weekend, earning $34 million; but, that is relatively close to the $30 million The Best Man Holiday took in. Think Like a Man made more than $90 million. Will The Best Man Holiday have the staying power to do better than that at the box office?
Written by: Douglas Cobb