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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Ride Along’ Drives Away


In the first truly busy weekend for new releases in 2014, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart took the competition, bent it over the knee and gave it a good spanking.

OK, you probably didn’t want the image of those two spanking animated squirrels, demonic babies or Chris Pine in your head, but how else does one talk about the opening weekend for “Ride Along?”

Film Weekend Total to Date
1 Ride Along $41.2 million $41.2 million
2 Lone Survivor $23.2 million $74.5 million
3 The Nut Job $20.6 million $20.6 million
4 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit $17.2 million $17.2 million
5 Frozen $12.0 million $332.6 million
6 American Hustle $10.6 million $116.4 million
7 Devil’s Due $8.5 million $8.5 million
8 August: Osage County $7.6 million $18.2 million
9 The Wolf of Wall Street $7.5 million $90.3 million
10 Saving Mr. Banks $4.1 million $75.4 million

With a $41 million opening weekend, “Ride Along” is already looking like it could be the first 2014 release to hit it big with audiences.

In a way, it looks like this year’s “Identity Thief.” Mostly lousy reviews didn’t keep the audiences away and the populist reaction has been very positive. Like Melissa McCarthy, people just plain like Hart. Even Ice Cube must know that he’s just along for the ride on this one. So, it won’t be surprising if “Ride Along” tops out with more than $100 million in a few weeks or so.

Among the other new releases, “The Nut Job” took in $20 million in snagging second place. For many computer-generated animated films, an opening like this would be devastating. But there’s a reason this was dumped in January. With a budget of $42 million, it was fairly cheap to make. With this knowledge handy, “The Nut Job” appears to be on far more solid footing than it did on first glance. Unless audiences totally ignore it next week, it stands a strong chance of making its money back.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” opened with a mediocre $17 million, providing further proof that naming your movie after the main character is often a very poor idea. Audiences simply aren’t attracted to Ryan’s name, but are attracted to the actor playing him. People like Chris Pine, but you don’t see them going out of their way to see his movies. The silver lining here is that “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” wasn’t too expensive to make. However, its chances of making its money back in the U.S. market are low.

The final new release of the weekend, “Devil’s Due,” opened in seventh place with $8 million, making it the second January horror release this year to disappoint at the box office. The film was made for pennies (and is already well on the way to making a profit), but this could be evidence that audiences are finally tiring of found footage horror movies. “Paranormal Activity 5″ should be either the resurgence or final nail in the coffin for this genre.

The rest of the top 10 fell into a pretty expected line. “Lone Survivor” performed well in its second weekend, bringing its total to $73 million. “Frozen” continued to prove itself unstoppable and is currently sitting pretty with $332 million. “American Hustle” ($116 million), “The Wolf of Wall Street” ($90 million) and “August: Osage County” ($18 million) all got Oscar nomination boosts. And “Saving Mr. Banks” keeps doing OK despite getting snubbed by the awards.

Meanwhile, outside the top 10, “Gravity,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Her,” “Nebraska,” “Dallas Buyers’ Club” and “Captain Phillips” also enjoyed box-office bumps from their Academy Awards nominations. Who said the Oscars were worthless?

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