Universal reports this morning that Ride Along banked a stellar $14.5 million Thursday night and Friday, giving it one of the best opening days ever for an original comedy and setting it on course for a massive $39.5 million 3-day / $46 million 4-day holiday debut. The 3-day figure would be enough for the second best January opening and second best extended MLK opening weekend in history, topping Lone Survivor's $37.85 million mark for the former statistic. Cloverfield, for the time being, owns both records with $40.1 million and $46.2 million, respectively.
Although critics haven't taken to Ride Along (17 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), early word of mouth looks relatively healthy with 79 percent of Flixster users approving of or still anticipating the comedy. The recipe for success here is fairly simple: Kevin Hart. Bucking the strong possibility of his overexposure in a number of movies recently, Hart is riding a wave of growing popularity that broadens his appeal to a diverse audience. Ice Cube's presence is certainly helpful as well, himself coming off a supporting role in a similarly-themed buddy cop hit two years ago (21 Jump Street).
Paramount's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit came in significantly under early Friday projections. The franchise reboot pulled a disappointing $5.43 million yesterday, which should net it around $16.3 million for the 3-day and $19.2 million over the extended 4-day weekend. The studio was hoping for more but after Lone Survivor exploded last weekend and ensured the male/action fan audience would have a fairly tough choice to make this weekend, the film's prospects were severely hampered. Ryan's Flixster score is down to a modest 64 percent right now, while critical reception is leaning just toward the positive side with 62 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. On the bright side, the film's fairly low $60 million production budget means it could still end up a financial success if overseas business helps pick up some of the tab.
Lone Survivor slid 53.5 percent from last Friday to $6.7 million yesterday, an expected decline given the amount of new competition entering the market. Survivor should hold up very well over the holiday weekend, though, as its strong word of mouth continues to drive the Universal hit. BoxOffice projects a $23 million 3-day and $27 million 4-day. Through Friday, Lone Survivor has amassed $57.5 million domestically.
Open Road made its animation debut with The Nut Job this weekend as it pulled $4.8 million yesterday. Look for $18.8 million 3-day and $25.5 million 4-day figures. That's better than expected business with Frozen still riding strong with family audiences. Then again, with Nut Job's trailer running in front of that pic for the past two months, it certainly had a lot of exposure. Critics have shunned the flick (13 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) while Flixster stands at 69 percent.
Fox's Devil's Due earned a soft $3.5 million yesterday. Combined with the very modest returns for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones two weeks ago, horror fans clearly aren't hungry for anything new right now--that, plus the film's marketing campaign failed to sell this film as a must-see picture for that crowd. The film's Flixster score is a disastrous 38 percent with critics similarly disapproving (21 percent on RT). Devil's Due should take in $8.5 million over the 3-day frame and $9.5 million for the 4-day.
Sony reports that 10-time Oscar nominee American Hustle grabbed $2.85 million yesterday, up 11 percent from last Friday. Hustle is clearly getting a boost from the extra attention of its Oscar nods and Golden Globe wins last weekend. Its cume to date stands at $108.7 million. BoxOffice projects $10.3 million 3-day / $12.2 million 4-day takes.
Disney's Frozen brought in another $2.55 million, down just 18 percent from last Friday and bringing its domestic cume up to $323.2 million. BoxOffice is projecting a $12.5 million 3-day / $17.5 million 4-day frame for the animation phenom.
Fellow Oscar nominee The Wolf of Wall Street earned another $2.02 million yesterday, off 26 percent from last Friday. The film's total stands at $84.8 million. BoxOffice projects $7.4 million 3-day and $8.8 million 4-day takes for Wolf.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris