Box Office Results: Ride Along Sets New January and MLK Jr. Records

Source:   Edward Douglas
January 19, 2014

The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Teaming gangster rapper and actor Ice Cube with Kevin Hart, one of the hottest black comedians working today, proved to be something that really worked for fans of both actors as their buddy cop comedy Ride Along opened in first place with $41.2 million in 2,663 theaters, a whopping per-site average of nearly $18 thousand per venue.

Universal is projecting that it will add another $6.6 million on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday proper bringing its four-day estimated total to $47.8 million, which would be enough for Ride Along to claim the highest-grossing Martin Luther King Jr. weekend opening as well as the biggest three-day opening for the month of January, defeating 2008's Cloverfield for the former as well as last week's #1 Lone Survivor. The audience for Ride Along was 57% female and roughly even between over and under 25s with a strong overall "A" CinemaScore.

Even so, Universal's other break-out hit, Peter Berg's military drama Lone Survivor (Universal), held well in its second weekend, dropping to second place with a three-day gross of $23.2 million (down 39%) with a projected four-day gross of $27.6 million, which would bring its total to $78.4 million after 11 days in wide release

Open Road Films also had one of their biggest hits to date this weekend with the animated The Nut Job (Open Road), featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl and Stephen Lang, which brought in a three-day estimate of $20.5 million in 3,427 theaters with Open Road already projecting $27.2 million for the four days with school being out of session. Either way, the three days alone makes it Open Road's biggest opening to date over the $19.7 million of the 2012 thriller The Grey (also featuring Liam Neeson) and last year's horror spoof A Haunted House, which opened with $18.1 million.

Paramount's attempt to bring back Tom Clancy's popular CIA Analyst in the prequel Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, starring Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley and Kenneth Branagh, failed to make much of a mark after being delayed from Christmas. It had to settle for fourth place with just $17.2 million in 3,387 theaters, an average of $5,100 per site. It was pretty much overshadowed by the sure thing buddy cop comedy.

Jack Ryan also opened on 339 IMAX screens in North America where it delivered $2.7 million of its four-day box office, and it also opened on 214 international IMAX screens where it brought in another $1.5 million.

Disney's animated hit Frozen dropped to fifth place with $12 million grossed over the three-day part of the weekend (and an estimated $16.4 million for the four-day weekend). The $332.6 million its grossed domestically makes it the fifth-highest grossing animated movie domestically, as it surpassed Shrek the Third this weekend, as well passed Pixar's Up to become the third-highest grossing non-animated sequel. Internationally, Frozen took in an addition $24.6 million this weekend to bring its overall global total to $759.1 million.

Taking full advantage of its Oscar nominations and wins at the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice Movie Awards and last night's Screen Actors Guild (where it won Best Ensemble Cast), David O. Russell's ensemble crime-comedy American Hustle (Sony) continued its run with an estimated $10.6 million over the three-day weekend in 2,204 locations, getting an unprecedented 28% bump up from last weekend. It has grossed $116.4 million since opening in mid-December and Sony is estimating another $2.1 million for Monday.

Found footage horror movies seem to finally be ready to call it a day, going by the failure of Devil's Due (20th Century Fox) to find any sort of audience, opening on Friday with $3.5 million and only grossing $8.5 million for the three-day weekend, although Fox didn't project how much it might make on Monday or for the four-day weekend, though it will probably be around the $10 million mark and end up in seventh place for the holiday weekend.

Tracy Letts' adaptation of his own prize-winning play August: Osage County, starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, expanded into 1,146 theaters on Friday, allowing it to hold the line with $7.6 million, the same amount it grossed in its first week of wide release. It dropped to eighth place with $18.2 million grossed thus far.

Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, also got a nice boost from its own Oscar nominations and various awards wins as it held up nicely in its fourth weekend with $7.5 million to take ninth place. It has grossed $90.3 million so far and is well on its way to join the ranks of previous Scorsese/DiCaprio collaborations in the $100 million club.

John Lee Hancock's upbeat history lesson Saving Mr. Banks, starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, rounded out the Top 10 with $4.1 million, down 38% from last weekend and without any of the Oscar love that some of the other movies above received.

Kellan Lutz's action flick The Legend of Hercules (Summit) fell right out of the Top 10, dropping 62% from its opening weekend to end up with $3.4 million for the three-day weekend and $4 million including Monday, which would bring its total gross to $15 million.

The Top 10 grossed $152 million over the three-day weekend and closer to $180 million including the Monday holiday, putting it well ahead of MLK Jr. weekend last year when the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror flick Mama topped the box office with $32 million over the four-day weekend.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.

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