The cop comedy “Ride Along” drove past expectations to win at the box office and set records over the
The Universal Pictures buddy movie, which stars comedian
Not adjusting for inflation, “Ride Along” set the record for the four-day Martin Luther King Day holiday
, topping 2008’s monster movie “Cloverfield.” Also, “Ride Along’s” Friday-through-Sunday total of $41.6 million was the biggest January three-day opening ever.
“Ride Along,” which cost $25 million to make, generated just 12% of its revenue from white moviegoers. Its audience was 50% African American and 30% Hispanic.
The movie benefited from good timing, said Nikki Rocco, president of distribution at Universal Pictures. “When we were setting up the release days for movies after the holidays, it just looked like the perfect time to release an urban comedy.”
Although it received lackluster reviews, “Ride Along” was well received by those who saw it, evidenced by a grade of A from the audience polling firm CinemaScore.
"Lone Survivor" finished in second place this time around, with an estimated gross of $26.4 million through Monday. The estimated cumulative domestic take is $77.2 million for the $40-million film.
"A one-two punch is great," Rocco said. "In order to be successful you have to have a diverse slate."
"Ride Along" is further evidence of Hart's appeal, coming after the strong performance of the fast-talking comedian's 2013 stand-up concert movie, "Let Me Explain."
Overall, the film industry had a strong weekend compared with a year earlier, up about 30% to $212 million in revenue for the four-day window. That’s still well below Martin Luther King Day weekend in 2009, when theatrical movies — led by “
“The Nut Job,” a 3-D critter caper distributed by Open Road Films, grossed around $25.3 million, beating “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” for a third-place finish — a better-than-expected result for an animated film not from a major studio. The production from Gulfstream Pictures, Red Rover International and ToonBox Entertainment features the voices of celebrities including
"Frozen," the highly successful animated Disney musical, landed in fifth place with a four-day run of $16.2 million, bringing its domestic total to around $337 million.
Meanwhile, the new low-budget horror offering “Devil’s Due,” from
Some awards hopefuls got a boost after Oscar nominations were announced Thursday. “American Hustle,” nominated for 10
Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks" rounded out the top 10 with a $4.79-million take, bringing its domestic total to $76 million.
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