'Ride Along 2' and 'Revenant' to again vie for No. 1 spot at weekend box office

Kevin Hart and Leonardo DiCaprio are poised for a box-office rematch this weekend.

The Hart-starring cop comedy "Ride Along 2" and DiCaprio's Oscar-nominated western epic "The Revenant" will probably top the domestic charts again, with each expected to gross around $20 million Friday through Sunday in the U.S. and Canada.

Those two contenders are expected to comfortably fend off Hollywood's three competing new releases: Sony Pictures' teen sci-fi movie "The 5th Wave," Lionsgate's raunchy generational comedy "Dirty Grandpa" and STX Entertainment's horror offering "The Boy."

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"Ride Along 2," with Hart again starring alongside Ice Cube, grossed $41 million in its debut over the long Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. The sequel was closely followed by "The Revenant," which added $37.5 million to its total after picking up 12 Oscar nominations, including best picture and lead actor (DiCaprio).

"The Revenant," released by 20th Century Fox and co-financed by New Regency, has taken in about $97 million domestically as of Monday since its limited Christmas Day release. The 19th-century tale of revenge in the unforgiving wilderness cost $135 million to make.

The upcoming weekend follows a strong start for the 2016 box-office year, thanks in part to the strength of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

"The 5th Wave," starring Chloë Grace Moretz, is expected to take in $11 million to $13 million in its domestic debut, though the studio is projecting a more conservative $8 million for the young-adult novel adaptation.

Moretz plays a teen trying to save her younger brother in the midst of a series of devastating alien attacks. The movie, co-financed by LStar Capital, cost $38 million to produce. Sony, based in Culver City, is hoping the movie, based on a book by Rick Yancey, will appeal to audiences overseas.

"Dirty Grandpa," the R-rated comedy starring Robert DeNiro and Zac Efron, is expected to take in $10 million to $12 million through Sunday.

Meanwhile, STX's horror movie "The Boy" is on track for $9 million to $11 million, on a production budget of $10 million.

The PG-13 supernatural thriller follows an American nanny hired by an English family to care for a life-sized doll that they treat like a living child. STX, based in Burbank, co-financed the production with Lakeshore Entertainment. It's tracking best among teens and young women.

Also opening Friday in limited release is the Chinese fantasy movie "Monster Hunt," a blockbuster that last year became the highest grossing movie ever in its home country with $381 million. It's debuting in roughly 30 U.S. theaters this week.

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A version of this article appeared in print on January 20, 2016, in the Business section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "`Ride Along 2,' `Revenant' to duel - MOVIE PROJECTOR" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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