After "Think Like a Man" debuted with a surprisingly strong $33.6 million at the box office last weekend, many in Hollywood said the film's success signified the need for more films aimed at African American moviegoers.
But comedian Chris Rock, who showed up at a movie theater in New Jersey at 9:50 a.m. last Friday to catch the ensemble comedy, said he thinks the film's resonance has little to do the race of its cast.
"That's a big number. That's not an only-black-people number," Rock said, referring to the film's opening weekend gross. "The black audience is looking for movies, but this movie is really good. ... You can put anybody in a good movie. And this movie happened to have some black people in it."
Rock was in Las Vegas this week at the CinemaCon convention of theater owners to help promote "Madagascar 3," the third in the DreamWorks Animation franchise that the actor has been a part of for nearly 12 years. (He is the voice of Marty the zebra.) At the Oscars this year, Rock joked before presenting the best animated film award that doing voice work is an easy gig. He shows up, steps in a booth, recites a few lines and "then they give me a million dollars," he kidded.
"There's work to be done [to prepare for voicing]. But not compared to jobs," Rock said Monday. "Somebody set up this table and had to vacuum this floor and set up these curtains and what-not. Any day I don't lift things for a living is a great day for me."
On stage in front of an auditorium full of theater owners, Rock did his best to sell the upcoming film:
"There are lots of movies coming out this summer -- Spider-Man and Batman and all this crap coming out. But I believe the biggest movie of the summer will be 'Madagascar 3.'"
-- Amy Kaufman in Las Vegas
Photo: Chris Rock talks to theater owners at CinemaCon. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press