The four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend in the States was particularly kind to Kevin Hart and Ice Cube’s mismatched buddy cop comedy Ride Along, which soared to the top of the box office charts and earned a very healthy $48.1 million opening weekend, putting it way ahead of the rest of the pack and giving Hart his best start yet.
Ride Along’s success handed it the January opening day record and nudged it into a slot as the second-highest original comedy launch, behind Ted back in 2012. It didn’t hurt that the film attracted slightly more women than men. The result pushed Peter Berg’s true-life war thriller Lone Survivor down to second place, with the Mark Wahlberg film taking $26.3 million across the four-day period.
The team behind the animated comedy The Nut Job also had reason to celebrate, smashing the record for an indie ‘toon set by Coraline thanks to a healthy $25.2 million first weekend. It was helped by being the first family animated film to arrive in the US since Frozen opened nearly two months ago, and also survived some mixed reviews.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is sadly a different story for Paramount. Despite a big publicity campaign, the spy film/franchise reboot could only manage a fourth place launch and $18 million in the bank. It’s comparable to The Hunt For Red October’s opening, though that of course arrived 24 years ago, when ticket prices were lower…
Frozen slipped to fifth place, but stayed strong despite shedding 260 screens, and earned $16.2 million. American Hustle, meanwhile, felt the benefit from Oscar nominations and other awards bumps, adding money ($11.5 million) while losing screens. That put it ahead of Devil’s Due, which for all its viral marketing, could only arrive in seventh with a disappointing $9.3 million. Could audiences finally be tiring of the found footage parade?
August: Osage County was eighth with $8.8 million, while The Wolf Of Wall Street fell to ninth with $8.3 million. Finally, Saving Mr. Banks took in $4.8 million for a current US total of $76 million. Just outside the top 10, Spike Jonze's Her didn’t capitalise on its nominations as well as Hustle, taking home $4.7 million.
For more arresting figures, head to Box Office Mojo.