Ride Along 2 sped its way to the number one spot at the multiplexes this weekend, ending the one-month dominance of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Paramount’s controversial Benghazi drama 13 Hours opened to mild numbers in fourth while Lionsgate’s Norm of the North was extinct in sixth. Overall, the top ten for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend was down 22% from last year at this time when American Sniper nationwide expansion captured a record $107 million.
Ice Cube may have felt a bit stung by Straight Outta Compton’s Oscar slight on Thursday, but he had to be happy with the opening numbers released for Ride Along 2 this morning. The sequel to the surprise 2014 hit comedy, which starred Cube and Kevin Hart, opened on 3,175 screens Friday where it went on to earn $34 million in its first three days. For the four-day holiday frame, the opening is being estimated at $39 million.
While the debut for Ride Along 2 is quite good, it is roughly 20% lower than the previous film. The ticket sale erosion could be contributed to overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics as well as competition from the likes of Star Wars and The Revenant among other titles. Whatever the case may be, the film should be able to return a nice tidy profit to Universal Pictures, who spent only $40 million to produce the film.
Plenty of awards love –three Golden Globe wins last Sunday night and 12 Oscar nominations Thursday morning- and positive word-of-mouth helped keep The Revenant a popular choice this weekend. The Alejandro Inarritu wilderness drama was off only 26% from last weekend to earn $29.5 million in estimated sales from 3,559 screens. After one month, the award contender’s overall total stands at $87.6 million. The Revenant should zip past the $100 million mark by next Friday. Foreign totals currently stand at $58 million.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens continued to make its presence known despite dropping from first to third place. The blockbuster added another $25.1 million from 3,822 theaters, bringing its domestic total to $851 million. Overseas, the film crossed the one billion dollar mark. The overall total is currently $1.87 billion. The Force Awakens should finish in third place on the global all-time chart with just a little over $2 billion in ticket sales behind Avatar and Titanic.
In fourth place was Paramount’s military drama 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi with an estimated $16 million from 2,389 theaters. The R-rated dramatization of the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya was largely marketed to conservative audiences, which helped the Michael Bay film pull in big crowds in Southern states. Reviews were better than usual for a Bay-directed feature, which really isn’t saying much. 13 Hours earned a 59% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Rounding out the top five was Paramount’s Daddy’s Home with $9.3 million from 3,322 theaters. Off 38%, the comedy hit has earned $129.2 million so far.
The last wide release of the weekend was the Lionsgate animated film Norm of the North with an awful $6.6 million from 2,411 screens. The film earned a zero on Rotten Tomatoes from critics. Apparently the press and the movie going public at large have little to no desire to watch a film that has a twerking Polar Bear that is voiced by Rob Schneider. Maybe there is hope for humanity after all.
The remainder of the top ten:
- The Forest (Focus) $5.8 million (-54%); $21.1 million
- The Big Short (Paramount) $5.2 million (-16%); $50.5 million
- Sisters (Universal) $4.4 million (-38%); $82 million
- The Hateful Eight (Weinstein) $3.4 million (-46%); $47.5 million
Next weekend sees the arrival of The 5th Wave, The Boy and Dirty Grandpa.