Ride Along Leads MLK Theater Take
For a second consecutive weekend, Universal Pictures saw one of its films break out, as Ride Along easily led the four-day weekend (Jan. 17-20) with $48.63 million. The action comedy starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube was expected to perform well heading into the weekend, but exceeded those expectations. With $41.52 million Friday through Sunday, Ride Along set new unadjusted three-day opening weekend records for both Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and the month of January as a whole. Both records were previously held by the $40.06 million start of 2008’s Cloverfield.
Kevin Hart was the driving force in the movie’s success, and Ride Along’s performance is especially promising for the comedian going forward, as Hart continues to transition into his film career throughout 2014 with upcoming releases that include Valentine Day’s About Last Night and June’s Think Like a Man Too.
Universal also claimed second place over the four days, as Lone Survivor took in $25.92 million. The Peter Berg directed war film starring Mark Wahlberg was down 31 percent from its stronger than expected three-day start. Lone Survivor has grossed $76.74 million after 11 days of wide release. For the three-day frame, Lone Survivor took in $22.06 million.
The weekend’s biggest surprise was The Nut Job, which opened in third over the four-day weekend with $25.70 million. Online buzz levels had been soft for the 3D computer animated film from Open Road leading up to its release, but family audiences were clearly ready for something new last weekend. The Nut Job took in $19.42 million over the three-day frame.
The news wasn’t anywhere near as good for Paramount Pictures’ Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which debuted in fourth over the four-day weekend with $18.03 million. The attempted franchise re-launch starring Chris Pine and Keira Knightley opened on the very low end of expectations, which had been softened a bit after the film was moved from its previous Christmas Day release slot. There was simply still too much competition for Jack Ryan to stand out as the break-out performances of Ride Along and Lone Survivor and the continued presence of Oscar nominees for Best Picture in the marketplace have limited its potential audience.
The weekend’s other new wide release, 20th Century Fox’s Devil’s Due opened all the way down in seventh with $9.15 million over the four-day weekend. The low-budget horror film debuted in line with its modest pre-release expectations. Devil’s Due took in $8.31 million over the three-day frame.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|3||N/A||The Nut Job||$25.70M||$25.70M||1|
|4||N/A||Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit||$18.03M||$18.03M||1|
|8||7||August: Osage County||$8.80M||$19.39M||4|
|9||4||The Wolf of Wall Street||$8.37M||$91.15M||4|
|10||8||Saving Mr. Banks||$4.87M||$76.12M||6|
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.