As their No. 1 opener Think Like A Man Too raked in $29.2M last weekend, exec producers and longtime business partners Will Packer and Rob Hardy quietly axed their Rainforest Films banner. “The two of us have been friends for over 20 years and will continue to support each other personally and professionally,” they said in a statement to Deadline. “Our respective personal careers have taken us in different directions, and we have decided it is necessary to dissolve Rainforest Films.”
The pair co-founded Rainforest 20 years ago and put it on the map with erotic thriller Trois, which Hardy directed and Packer produced. The self-distributed indie grossed $1.1M upon release in 2000 and launched a specialty shingle for the duo, who went on to produce 17 more features targeted toward African-American audiences. Some of those Rainforest titles went on to become modest-to-major studio-distributed hits, including specialty pic The Gospel ($15M), Stomp The Yard ($75M worldwide), This Christmas ($49M) Obsessed ($73M), Takers ($69M), and Think Like A Man ($96M).
More recently, Rainforest’s Universal-distributed buddy cop flick Ride Along scored $153M while remake About Last Night took in $49M for Screen Gems. Those will be the final Rainforest productions as Packer segues into the eponymous production banner he launched last year with a three-year first-look deal with Universal.
FINAL BOX OFFICE: First Half Of 2014 No Growth From Year Earlier As ‘Think Like A Man Too’ Debuts With $29M+; ‘Jersey Boys’ With $13.3M
OPENING: Think Like A Man Too (SONY/SCREEN GEMS) to come in at No. 1 and around $29.2M as first predicted; Jersey Boys (WB) at No. 4 at $13.3M.
6th UPDATE, MONDAY 3:16 PM: The first half of 2014 is flat so far — as in no growth year from last year — up only .5% in terms of box office revenue. The summer box office so far is actually down around 15% this year as well so Transformers: Age of Extinction will be a welcome offering this weekend. One note is that last summer and last year both were revenue records, driven by such top hits as Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, and Man of Steel to name a few. This year is kind of seen as a transition year before sequelmania hits in 2015.
DeadlineNow: ‘Think Like A Man Too’, Clint’s ‘Jersey Boys’ & Transformative Box Office Weekend To Come (Video)
EXCLUSIVE: As the sequel to their 2012 Steve Harvey book adaptation Think Like A Man hits theaters today, the writing team of Keith Merryman and David A. Newman have been hired to adapt another hit property. They’ll script Lionsgate’s remake of the Spanish-language comedy Instructions Not Included, about a playboy whose life is rocked when an old fling leaves a baby on his doorstep. The original film starred Mexican superstar Eugenio Derbez and became the highest-grossing Spanish-language film to ever be released in the U.S. when it opened via Lionsgate’s Pantelion last year.
Merryman and Newman co-wrote 2011 rom-com Friends With Benefits prior to adapting the first Think Like A Man picture, which took in a $96M box office for Screen Gems. The pair were then tapped to write sequel Think Like A Man Too, which opens today and has already scored $1.8M in late night Thursday showings. The Instructions Not Included remake will be overseen by John Sacchi and Mike Paseornek for Lionsgate. The studio also recently tapped Merryman and Newman to rewrite Summit’s romantic comedy Kicked, Bitten and Scratched based on Amy Sutherland’s books set at an animal facility. The writers are repped by APA, Circle of Confusion and SMGSB.
The first trailer has dropped for Think Like A Man Too, the sequel to the 2012 Screen Gems pic based on Steve Harvey’s best-selling relationships book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Taraji P. Henson, Michael Ealy, Kevin Hart, Terrence Jenkins, Jerry Ferrara, Romany Malco, Gary Owen, Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Jenifer Lewis, and Wendy Williams are all back for the second g0-round. New cast members include Dennis Haysbert, Adam Brody, Wendi McLendon-Covey and David Walton. Tim Story directs from a screenplay by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, who penned the original. Think Like A Man Too hits theaters on June 20.
EXCLUSIVE: Adam Brody is set for the sequel Think Like A Man Too. His character Isaac is a former frat brother of Kevin Hart’s Cedric who shows up and, to everyone’s surprise, is white. The movie, like the first 2012 Screen Gems film, is based on Steve Harvey’s bestselling relationships book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, who penned the original, are writing the sequel, which is due out June 20, 2014 from Sony Pictures. Before then, former The O.C. star Brody will be seen in the upcoming Lovelace with Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard and James Franco. After its debut at the Sundance Film Festival this year and getting picked up by Radius-TWC soon afterward, the Linda Lovelace biopic is scheduled to come out later this year. Brody plays Lovelace’s Deep Throat co-star Harry Reems in the film. Additionally, Brody is also in Neil LaBute’s Some Girls, Fox Searchlight’s Baggage Claim and the comedy Life Partners. He is repped by UTA.
Sony Pictures has added a title and shifted a few movies for the summer of 2014. Joining The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which opens May 2, Sony is betting heavily on raunchy comedies. The studio has dated 21 Jump Street 2 for June 6; Think Like A Man Too for June 20; and Sex Tape will unspool July 2. Latter is the only non-sequel on the list, about a couple that mistakenly puts a home sex tape into wide circulation. Directed by Jake Kasdan, the film stars Jason Segel (who hasn’t had near enough chance recently to show off his schlong in movies like The Muppets) and Cameron Diaz.