Zac Efron's 'Lucky One' could unseat 'Hunger Games'
But it could be Steve Harvey claiming the title as the new top dog.
Efron's "The Lucky One," a tear-jerker romance adapted from author Nicholas Sparks' novel of the same name, looks likely to claim the No. 1 spot at the multiplex this weekend, which would knock "The Hunger Games" from the top spot.
But if the Warner Bros. film can't close the deal, look for Harvey's comedy "Think Like a Man" to premiere in first place.
"The Hunger Games" has been the nation's most popular film four consecutive weeks, and has grossed more than $337 million in domestic theaters to date. It is thus far 2012's top release, far ahead of "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax," with $204.5 million so far.
If "The Lucky One" isn't lucky enough to unseat “The Hunger Games,” the honor may go to Screen Gems' "Think Like a Man." If the audience tracking surveys are accurate, each film could gross $20 million or more in its debut, which should be more than enough for the top spot. Last weekend, "The Hunger Games" grossed an estimated $21.5 million, but should fall to about $15 million next weekend.
"The Lucky One," in which Efron plays a soldier who appears to be protected by the photograph of a woman he doesn't know, is appealing to younger women, the tracking surveys suggest. Men will either not attend or only go at gunpoint.
"Think Like a Man," adapted from Harvey's bestselling book, "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man," is a relationship comedy starring Chris Brown, Kevin Hart and Regina Hall. Its core audience is older African American women, the surveys indicate, but it has broad support from younger black women and a good percentage of men.
-- John Horn
Photo: Zac Efron in “The Lucky One.” Credit: Alan Markfield / Warner Bros.