‘Think Like A Man’: How It Knocked ‘Hunger Games’ Off Its Throne

Box-office expert explains just how significant the flick's $33 million debut really is.

The success of “Think Like a Man” shouldn’t surprise anyone. For starters, it’s based on a best-selling self-help book by Steve Harvey, and many box-office experts had predicted that it would finally be the movie to knock “The Hunger Games” out of its #1 spot.

But it was unclear just how big “Think Like a Man” would be. The film grossed $33 million over the weekend and according to Box Office Mojo‘s weekend wrap-up, “the movie had an ‘A’ CinemaScore, which went up to an ‘A+’ among men and those under the age of 25.”

As Vulture put it, “It’s hard to overstate the enormity of the ‘TLAM’ victory this past weekend.” $33 million may not sound like a lot when compared to the opening weeks of “The Hunger Games” and its box-office tear, but there are two things to consider when looking at that number: competition and screens.

“Think Like a Man” had two worthy opponents to defeat on its way to box-office glory. First, there was the reigning champion, “The Hunger Games.” Even in its fifth week, the YA adaptation still showed signs of life, crossing the $350 million mark this weekend. Then, there was “The Lucky One,’ which boasted the Nicholas Sparks brand name and an adult role from teen heartthrob Zac Efron. On paper, these two could have proved too much for the rom-com, especially when you consider the second factor.

The large haul for “Think Like a Man” is so much more impressive when you compare the number of screens each film played on. “The Hunger Games,” even in its fifth weekend, was still playing on 3,752 screens, almost twice as many as “Think Like a Man,” and yet the latter did more than two times the business. Just as telling, “The Lucky One” debuted on 1,000 more screens than “Think Like a Man,” yet made more than $10 million less.

BoxOffice.com editor Phil Contrino said that the success was due in large part to the community the film was aimed at. “There aren’t many films that are made specifically for African-American audiences, and when it a good one comes out, that community gets behind it in a big way,” he said.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Think Like a Man.”

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.

Writer/editor for MTV. If it involves cowboys, spies, or hitmen, I'm there. All three would be ideal.