“Best Man Holiday” Tops All Expectations by Earning $30.6 Million in Opening Weekend

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Although Thor: The Dark World hung on to the No. 1 spot at the box office this weekend, the big story was a stellar opening for The Best Man Holiday, which trounced all expectations to debut with a studio-estimated $30.6-million.  Disney’s 3-D sequel Thor: the Dark World took in a solid $38.5-million, which represented an expected 55% drop from its opening weekend when it grossed $86 million.

The Best Man Holiday received a coveted average grade of A+ from moviegoers, according to market research firm CinemaScore. That means it joins an elite club of films that have enjoyed long and fruitful box office runs, including Argo, 42, The Help, The King’s Speech, The Blind Side and Titanic.  Going into the weekend, the distributor Universal Pictures projected that The Best Man Holiday would take in a modest $17 million, while prerelease audience surveys indicated the film would start off with around $23 million.

“There’s no crystal ball in guessing this stuff,” said Nikki Rocco, Universal’s president of distribution.  “It was fair to think this film— where 87% of the audience was African American—would open in the high teens.”  That it nearly doubled that estimate is “a phenomenal result,” said Rocco. “I would never have thought in my most non-lucid moment to expect this — the picture only cost $17-million.”  Thanks to the A+ CinemaScore, Rocco says she believes the film will eventually reach a broader audience.

The Best Man Holiday, which is about a group of friends gathering for Christmas, is a sequel to 1999’s The Best Man which grossed $34 million. Both films were directed by Malcolm D. Lee and star a number of the same actors, including Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard and Nia Long.

article by Jessica Gelt via latimes.com

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