Ride Along Takes Pole Position Again While I, Frankenstein Stumbles at Box Office

Ride Along Takes Pole Position Again While I, Frankenstein Stumbles at Box OfficeIt was another great weekend for Universal Pictures as the hit comedy Ride Along and the military drama Lone Survivor remained in first and second place, respectively, at the North American box office. Holdovers dominated the top ten outside of the one wide release, I, Frankenstein, which crawled its way to a dismal sixth place finish. Overall, the top ten was up a moderate 13.4% over last year at this time.

After setting a record for a January opening over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Ride Along eased 49% in its second round on 2,759 screens to earn an estimated $21.1 million in its sophomore session. After ten days, the Kevin Hart/Ice Cube buddy flick has earned a great $75.4 million. The Tim Story-directed smash should cross the $100 million within the next week or so and could reach $120 million by the end of its domestic run.

Another feature getting ready to join the century club within the next seven days is Lone Survivor. The Mark Wahlberg drama may have been overlooked by the Academy in terms of Oscar nominations, but the public is showing it a tremendous amount of love. In its third weekend of wide release – its fifth weekend overall – Survivor eased 43% to earn an estimated $12.6 million from 3,162 screens. To date, the $40 million production has earned a great $93.6 million.

Showing decent legs in third place this weekend was Open Road Films’ The Nut Job with $12.3 million in estimated sales from 3,472 theaters. Families have ponied up a solid $40.2 million after ten days of release and should help bring the animated comedy to a final domestic haul between $70-75 million.

Not to be outdone by The Nut Job, Disney’s money-making machine Frozen had another solid weekend. Now in its tenth weekend, the blockbuster earned an estimated $9 million from 2,757 theaters. Off only 23%, Frozen has earned a massive $347.8 million and should pass Despicable Me 2 within the next couple of weeks to become highest-grossing animated feature of 2013. With overseas markets contributing $462.5 million in sales ($810.3 million overall global gross thus far), the billion dollar mark is becoming more and more of a reality for the Oscar-nominated cartoon.

Rounding out the top five was Paramount’s second attempt to restart the Jack Ryan franchise, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. The Chris Pine spy thriller dropped a moderate 43% in its second weekend on 3,387 screens to earn $8.8 million in estimated sales. To date, the Paramount feature has earned a mild $30 million and may be able to make it to the $50 million mark domestically by the end of its run, a far cry below the quartet of Ryan films that came before it. Overseas, however, is helping the film out with its grosses. So far, the $60 million Kenneth Branagh-directed production has earned an encouraging $46 million.

The weekend’s lone wide release opening was Lionsgate’s action horror feature I, Frankenstein, which crashed and burned right out of the gate with a dismal $8.2 million from 2,753 theaters. The low-grossing debut was made even worse by the fact that the film played largely on higher-priced 3D and IMAX format screens. Once again, overseas markets will have to come to the rescue if Frankenstein is to see any sort of profit at the box office.

The remainder of the top ten is as follows:

7. American Hustle (Sony) $7.1 million (-28%); $127 million

8. August: Osage County (Weinstein Company) $5 million (-28%); $26.5 million

9. The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount) $5 million (-29%); $98 million

10. Devils Due (Fox) $2.7 million (-67%); $12.8 million

Next weekend sees the arrival of Paramount’s Labor Day and Focus Features’ That Awkward Moment. Neither is expected to do big numbers so Universal Pictures may once again rule the roost with its two blockbusters.

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