It looks like
Universal Pictures' buddy-cop comedy "Ride Along," starring the fast-talking Hart alongside Ice Cube, grossed an estimated $41.2 million in ticket sales through Sunday in the U.S. and Canada and is on track to take in $47.8 million through Monday, beating all expectations.
Not adjusting for inflation, that would make it the highest-grossing Martin Luther King Jr. Day four-day weekend opener ever, topping 2008's monster movie
Critics were largely unimpressed by "Ride Along," indicated by a 16% "fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences were receptive, giving it a grade of A, according to the polling firm CinemaScore.
Last week's No. 1 film, "Lone Survivor," also from Universal, will land in second place, with an estimated gross of $23.2 million through Sunday. The estimated cumulative domestic take is $74 million for the $40-million film.
"The Nut Job," a 3-D critter caper distributed by Open Road Films, grossed around $20.5 million, a strong result for an animated film not from a major studio. The movie, featuring the voices of celebrities including
"Frozen," the highly successful animated Disney musical, slid to fifth place with a three-day total of nearly $12 million, bringing its domestic total to around $333 million.
Meanwhile, the new low-budget found-footage fright-fest "Devil's Due" scared up about $8.5 million through Sunday to finish in seventh behind "American Hustle," which is nominated for 10
Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks" rounded out the top 10 with a $4.15-million take, bringing its domestic total to $75.4 million.
"Gravity" and "Captain Phillips" capitalized on the Oscar buzz by expanding into more theaters after the nominations.