Box Office Results: Ride Along Pulls an Unprecedented Three-Peat

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.

Super Bowl weekend can sometimes be slow because studios aren’t willing to release their top fare when they know most of the country is going to be sitting around their television sets most of Sunday. This year was no different–in fact, it was a pretty dismal week at the box office–and yet we saw somewhat of a milestone as Ice Cube and Kevin Hart’s action-comedy Ride Along joined an illustrious club by winning Super Bowl weekend, giving it three weeks at #1. Only about 11 or 12 movies have remained #1 for three weeks since 2010 and they were mostly huge movies like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises and “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight Saga” movies, plus popular August releases like The Help and Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

Ride Along pulled off that feat with an estimated weekend take of $12.3 million, bringing its total to $93 million, which makes it Ice Cube’s highest-grossing film to date, far surpassing the 2005 family comedy Are We There Yet?.

Otherwise, only two new movies opened in wide release, both romantic movies targeting different age groups of women and both missing their mark.

Tom Gormican’s R-rated relationship comedy That Awkward Moment (Focus Features), starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller and Imogen Poots, fared the better of the two, settling for a third place opening with an estimated $9 million in 2,809 locations or about $3200 average. Not good. As expected, the audience was mostly female and under 25 and even though that demo probably would’t have bothered reading reviews, they just weren’t interested. Then again, Focus seems to have estimated it to have a huge drop on Sunday, and it might fare slightly better once actuals come in.

Having already grossed over $350 million domestically, Disney’s animated hit Frozen opened a sing-along version in theaters across the country, which proved to be enough to bring fans of the movie BACK into theaters and allowing it to move back into second place with $9.3 million. Disney reports that $2.2 million of that comes from the sing-along versions, but more significantly, it also gave it a nice bump so that it was actually up 2% from last weekend. So far, it has grossed $360 million domestically and another $504 million overseas for a grand worldwide total of $864.4 million and it doesn’t look like “Frozen-Mania” is stopping any time soon… unless someone releases an animated movie set in a world of LEGOs.

If that wasn’t enough for Disney’s long-in-development animated project, over the weekend it also collected five awards at the 41st Annie Awards including the top prize, Best Animated Feature.

Frozen also moved back up past the more recently released family animated film The Nut Job (Open Road), which has done exceedingly well, adding another $7.6 million this weekend to its total gross of $50.2 million.

Fifth place went to Peter Berg’s military drama Lone Survivor (Universal), starring Mark Wahlberg, which added another $7.2 million to its own impressive take of $104.9 million, a real coup for Universal, Berg and producer/actor Wahlberg.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Paramount), starring Chris Pine, took sixth place, holding pretty well despite its weak opening, down just 41% with $5.4 million over the weekend and $39 million grossed over three weekends. Unfortunately, the fairly low production budget of $60 million may only be attainable overseas at this point.

Nearly five months since premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Jason Reitman’s fifth feature film, the romantic drama Labor Day, based on Joyce Maynard’s novel and starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, was released into 2,584 theaters, probably way more than it needed, because it only grossed $5.3 million or $2,000 per site in its opening weekend. Clearly someone dropped the ball on this one, from its non-existent awards campaign to its release pattern–it should have been given a limited release to build word of mouth–to putting it out on Super Bowl with mixed messages marketing. Maybe once they switched to marketing the pseudo-thriller as a romance, they should have jumped on Valentine’s Day weekend despite it already being crowded. Who knows? But it certainly seems like this could have been released in September or October and done better.

David O. Russell’s ensemble caper comedy American Hustle (Sony) continues to do well. In fact, it’s now the highest-grossing movie of Russell’s career thanks to the $133.6 million domestic gross of which $4.3 million was added this weekend in 2,216 theaters. Oscar night is a month away, so we’ll see how much more business it does before then, but Russell is definitely sitting pretty with his third major commercial hit in a row.

Last week, Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount), starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, became only the filmmaker’s fourth movie to cross the $100 million mark. It took ninth place this weekend with $3.5 million and $104 million earned to date.

After a weak opening, the action-thriller I, Frankenstein (Lionsgate), starring Aaron Eckhart, plummeted to 10th place with $3.5 million, down 59% from its opening. It has grossed $14.5 million in its first 10 days. Yeah, no franchise here.

The Top 10 grossed an estimated $67.5 million, which is pretty bad, although it’s actually better than last year’s Super Bowl weekend when Warm Bodies was #1 with $20.3 million and Sylvester Stallone’s Bullet to the Head bombed with just $4.5 million.

Although the MGM Pictures remake of RoboCop won’t be released in North America until February 12, it was released in Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore this weekend where it earned $5.5 million, topping all three markets.

As far as limited releases, Penn and Teller’s acclaimed doc Tim’s Vermeer (Sony Pictures Classics) opened in four theaters in New York and L.A, bringing in $58 thousand or $14.5 thousand per screen.

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


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