By Daniel Garris
Universal's Ride Along 2 debuted in first place over the four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend with $41.01 million. The PG-13 rated comedy sequel starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart debuted towards the lower end of expectations and 16 percent below the $48.63 million four-day start of 2014's Ride Along. The film had been widely expected to debut a bit below Ride Along due in part to less pre-release excitement and the potential for sequel fatigue. With that said, Ride Along 2 still registered the fourth largest four-day Martin Luther King weekend debut of all-time and the eighth largest thee-day January opening ever with a three-day take of $35.24 million. Ride Along 2 received a B+ rating on CinemaScore. While that's a solid score, it's also significantly softer than the A rating Ride Along received on CinemaScore and suggests that the film will be more front-loaded than its predecessor was.
Thanks in part to healthy word of mouth and its 12 Academy Award nominations; Fox's The Revenant continued to exceed expectations with a close second place take of $37.53 million over the four-day frame. The Alejandro González Iñárritu directed western starring Leonardo DiCaprio was down a very slim 6 percent from last weekend's already stronger than expected debut. The Revenant has grossed an impressive $95.70 million after eleven days of wide release (and an additional two weeks of platform release). That places the film 24 percent ahead of the $77.32 million eleven-day take of 2010's Shutter Island. The Revenant represents another strong performer for DiCaprio and should continue to hold up well going forward. The film took $31.80 million over the three-day weekend.
After leading the weekend box office for each of the past four frames, Disney's Star Wars: The Force Awakens fell to third place this weekend with a four-day take of $33.02 million. The seventh chapter of the Star Wars franchise was down a solid 22 percent from last weekend. The Force Awakens passed the $850 million mark this weekend and continues to pad its total as the highest grossing film of all-time domestically with $858.95 million through 32 days of release. The film is currently running 70 percent ahead of the $504.87 million 32-day take of 2009's Avatar and 45 percent ahead of the $592.84 million 32-day gross of last year's Jurassic World. The Force Awakens took in $26.34 million over the three-day frame. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, The Force Awakens claimed the fourth largest three-day fifth weekend gross of all-time (behind only Avatar, 1997's Titanic and 2013's Frozen).
Paramount's 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi debuted in fourth place with a four-day start of $19.22 million. The Michael Bay directed action thriller debuted a bit below expectations. While it wasn't expected to do so, 13 Hours was unable to deliver the type of break-out performance that other war themed thrillers such as American Sniper, Lone Survivor and Zero Dark Thirty have delivered in recent years during the month of January. Potential for 13 Hours appears to have been weakened by the politics that have surrounded the 2012 Benghazi attack, as well as the break-out performance of The Revenant. 13 Hours is running 27 percent behind the $26.42 million four-day start of 2012's Act of Valor. 13 Hours took in $16.19 million over the three-day frame. The film did receive a strong A rating on CinemaScore, which suggests that 13 Hours will hold up well going forward.
Fellow Paramount release Daddy's Home rounded out the weekend's top five with a four-day take of $11.90 million. The PG-13 rated comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg was down a solid 21 percent from last weekend. Daddy's Home continues to impress with a stronger than expected 25-day gross of $131.86 million. That places the film 32 percent ahead of the $99.65 million 25-day take of 2010's The Other Guys. Daddy's Home grossed $9.55 million over the three-day weekend.
Meanwhile, Norm of the North was off to a lackluster sixth place start this weekend with a four-day take of $9.38 million. The modestly budgeted computer animated film from Lionsgate opened in line with its already low expectations. Martin Luther King weekend is typically a strong weekend for family films, but Norm of the North was unable to take advantage of the holiday frame. Norm of the North opened a very underwhelming 63.5 percent below the $25.70 million four-day start of 2014's The Nut Job. Over the three-day frame, Norm of the North took in $6.84 million. Norm of the North received a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore, which isn't a good sign going forward. On top of that, the film will be facing added competition for family audiences from Fox's Kung Fu Panda 3 beginning on January 29.
The Forest landed in seventh place with $6.98 million. The PG-13 horror film from Focus and Gramercy starring Natalie Dormer was down a respectable 45 percent from last weekend's debut. The Forest has grossed a stronger than expected $22.31 million in eleven days. That places the film essentially on par with the $22.40 million eleven-day gross of last year's The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death. The Forest took in $5.98 million over the three-day weekend.
Thanks in part to the five Academy Award nominations it received; Paramount's The Big Short was up 4 percent to take in an eighth place four-day gross of $6.44 million. This weekend's hold was especially impressive given that The Big Short is playing in 764 fewer locations than it was last week. The Adam McKay directed comedy drama passed the $50 million mark this weekend and has grossed $51.76 million in 39 days. The Big Short grossed $5.30 million over the three-day frame.