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'I, Frankenstein' stumbles as 'Ride Along' rolls to victory

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"I, Frankenstein," the only new wide-release movie in theaters over the weekend, posted less-than-monstrous results that failed to instill any fear in holdovers "Ride Along" and "Lone Survivor." 

The 3D horror-action hybrid, starring a muscular Aaron Eckhart as Victor Frankenstein's monster, grossed an estimated $8.3 million in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada, coming in below expectations for a sixth-place finish.

Distributed by Lionsgate and produced by Lakeshore Entertainment and Hopscotch Features, the re-imagining of Mary Shelley's 19th-century novel cost about $65 million to make.   

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"I, Frankenstein" -- adapted from Kevin Grevioux's graphic novel by writer-director Stuart Beattie -- takes place in an alternate present-day universe where demons and gargoyles battle for domination, with Dr. Frankenstein's creation caught in the struggle. 

It was a flop with critics, as evidenced by a 5% "fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Moviegoers who saw it were more receptive and gave the PG-13 film a grade of B, according to the polling firm CinemaScore. 

"Ride Along," the Universal Pictures buddy-comedy with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, easily held the top spot at the box office with $21.2 million in ticket sales. That comes a week after "Ride Along" scored the biggest January opening ever, not accounting for inflation. It has taken in $75.4 million so far domestically. 

The Mark Wahlberg military action saga "Lone Survivor" was again the second-highest grossing film, with $12.6 million. After three weekends in wide release, the movie about an ill-fated Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan has taken in an estimated $93.6 million.

It's been a strong start to the new year for Universal, which, if estimates hold, has boasted the top two movies for two weekends in a row, a rare feat for a studio. 

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Animated fare also performed well on the quiet weekend. "The Nut Job," a 3D animated critter comedy distributed by Open Road Films, gathered $12.3 million for a third place finish, representing a 37% drop from its debut last weekend. A sequel is planned for 2016. Disney's "Frozen" landed in fourth place with a little more than $9 million, down a mere 23% week-to-week. Its worldwide tally has now exceeded $800 million, including $348 million from the U.S. and Canada. 

Paramount Pictures' "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" grossed $8.8 million, bringing the cumulative domestic take to $30.2 million for the Tom Clancy character reboot that cost $60 million to produce. 

Oscar contenders held strong. The gross for "American Hustle," nominated for 10 Academy Awards, fell just 28% from last weekend to $7.1 million, while the twice-nominated Weinstein Co.'s "August: Osage County" took in about $5 million, down 32%. "The Wolf of Wall Street" also secured about $5 million, bringing its domestic take close to the $100-million mark. 

In 10th place was the low-budget "Rosemary's Baby"-style horror film "Devil's Due" with $2.75 million. 

ALSO:

TV ratings: Fox's 'Rake' premieres modestly after 'American Idol'

Jeffrey Katzenberg to receive Harold Lloyd award for contributions to 3D

The Morning Fix: 'Ride Along' to run over 'Frankenstein.' R.I.P. Ed Hookstratten.

Follow on Twitter: @rfaughnder

ryan.faughnder@latimes.com

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