After four consecutive frames, Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games finally was knocked out of the top slot on the box office charts over the weekend. Your new champ? Think Like a Man, the ensemble comedy adapted from Steve Harvey’s best-selling advice book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment.
Director Tim Story’s star-studded feature pulled in an estimated $33 million, giving Think the 8th-highest opening weekend number of 2012. Bet on the fact that the studio executives at Screen Gems – the team behind Think – thought once or twice over the weekend, “How can we turn this successful film into a potential franchise?”
Lucky for them, Harvey’s way ahead of the game.
Harvey – a comedian, actor and host of the nationally syndicated radio program The Steve Harvey Morning Show – released Think Like a Man on Jan. 27, 2009. The book sold so well and was so well-received that Harvey returned to the subject matter in 2011 for a second book, Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep and Understand a Man.
How much do you want to bet Hollywood’s thumbing through copies of that book as we speak wondering if it’s strong enough for a Think sequel? Plus, as Roger Ebert points out in his Think review, the potential for a trilogy absolutely exists if producers wanted to shift direction and acquire the rights to Maria Bustillo's 2009 book Act Like a Gentleman, Think Like a Woman: A Woman's Response to Steve Harvey's Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.
Hey, if the pregnancy guide What to Expect When You’re Expecting can become fodder for a high-profile summer comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz, then every book on the self-help guide has legitimate big-screen potential.
My point is that there’s an audience out there for Harvey’s unique insights into modern-day relationships. They tune into his radio program every morning, buy tickets to his stand-up shows, and turned out in support of his new movie this past weekend. It helps that Story nabbed a talented group of outstanding actors that includes Meagan Good, Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy, Taraji P. Henson, Romany Malco and Gabrielle Union. Screen Gems would be very wise to negotiate at least two more movies with this cast. Successful franchises have been built around far less ability.
The question was first posed on the nationally syndicated Russ Parr Morning Show: “Should There Be a Sequel to Think Like a Man?” Nearly 70% of those who voted on Parr’s online poll support a second Think film. And Gary Thompson of the Philadelphia Daily News backed up the belief in his box office report, stating, “Expect work to commence on a direct sequel, or another Harvey-inspired comedy within a year.”
Do you agree? Should there be a Think Like a Man sequel? Should they keep the cast, or recruit different actors? And should Harvey’s second book, No Chaser, be the guideline for the next movie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.