Putting the Brothers Back in Bromance Films
Single-Minded: Think Like a Man shows that romantic comedies can attract a black male audience.
"Men are just as interested as women in finding and keeping love," explains Brunson. "A matter of fact, research shows that men over the age of 25 seek committed relationships at higher rates than women." The difference between the genders is the medium through which men and women consume information. Men, the old publishing mantra goes, do not read books.
Tony Gaskins, a relationship coach and author, agrees that men prefer visual mediums like movies and that an adaptation like Think Like a Man is a quick and easy way to "sit in on what women have been listening to.
"And just like the male characters in the movie, men want to know the information women are getting so they can counteract it," says Gaskins, before adding that no one wants to be left out and unknowingly "sucked in by a power move."
The number of men at the theater could also be just that -- a power move. According to Damon Young, one-half of the hilarious duo behind Very Smart Brothas, single men will show up wherever the single women are. It's as simple as that.
"There's a good chance that the men attending in droves treated it like a nightclub," says Young. "Basically, they made sure they were there because they assumed that's where all the women would be."
Cummings echoes that sentiment: "It may sound ridiculous, but I really do think it's that simple. In most places, the movie theater is the spot. If you see a flock of women, then guys will follow." But many of the men I talked to added that Think Like a Man's marketers added some crumbs along the way.
The business side of the movie and not just the content was the catalyst behind the audience, according to Brunson, pointing to the film's "brilliant casting," the release date (when no other "green screen" or testosterone-heavy movies were premiering) and the marketing push. "I saw ads for Think Like a Man at my male-heavy gym," explains Brunson.
Quoting the saying "Black people need to take a plane to get to the places that white people can walk to," Cummings emphasizes that Think Like a Man's box office success is due to heavy lifting behind the scenes. The marquee actors in the film are showing up at college-campus screenings and red carpets outside of New York and Los Angeles.
So if Hollywood has become nostalgic for black bromances, then perhaps a new formula has come into play for black audiences.
"Ultimately we can see more films like this getting made," says Cummings, "but it's going to take a lot of work."