(USA Today) What do you get when you cross three A-listers with two sequels and millions at the box office? One happy studio.
Sony Pictures took the top two spots at theaters this weekend as Think Like a Man Too supplanted 22 Jump Street, reversing the fortunes of a studio that had seen only one film this year crack $100 million.
Man took the top spot with $30 million, according to studio estimates from box office trackers Rentrak.
Despite tough reviews, the debut met most analysts' expectations and cements starKevin Hart's position as the summer's most bankable comedian.
Man earned just a 23% approval rating from critics, says Rotten Tomatoes. But Hart has always appealed more to moviegoers and movie reviewers, and the comedy earned an A-minus from fans, according to pollsters CinemaScore.
"Kevin Hart's ascension as a legit box office draw and 'Pointless Sequel Syndrome' appear to have canceled each other out when it came to this opening," says Tim Briody, columnist for Box Office Prophets.
Last week's No. 1, Street, dropped to second place with $29 million. The sophomore-week effort helped push the Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill comedy to $111.5 million overall. The movie joins only The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as Sony films to collect nine figures in ticket sales this year.
Nine figures will be a pipe dream for Jersey Boys, Clint Eastwood's latest. The musical collected $13.5 million, meeting most of its modest expectations for a fourth place finish.
About 55% of critics gave the movie a thumbs-up, and moviegoers gave it an A-minus, but the story never caught fire.
"Eastwood films typically have a major star as the anchor," says Gitesh Pandya of Box Office Guru. "But this one has newcomers which (took) away from its opening weekend strength."
The animated sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 took third place with $25.3 million, while Angelina Jolie's Maleficent captured fifth with $13 million. Final figures are due Monday.