Over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, Kevin Hart/Ice Cube comedy Ride Along drew huge crowds and set a new January opening record. Meanwhile, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit missed the mark and Devil's Due bombed.
Playing at 2,663 locations, Ride Along scored a fantastic $41.2 million over the three-day weekend. That's a tad higher than Cloverfield, which had previously held the January record with $40.1 million. Among original comedies, Ride Along had the highest opening since Ted ($54.4 million) back in June 2012.
Ride Along's stunning debut can be attributed to a number of factors. First and foremost, the movie had a strong, broadly-appealing premise that was put front-and-center in all of the marketing material. That would be worthless, though, if the movie looked like a dud: fortunately, the Ride Along previews were packed with solid laughs, including a very memorable shotgun bit. All of this was brought to life by stars Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, both of whom have strong brands that aligned nicely with the Ride Along material.
Ride Along's audience was 57 percent female, and 54 percent over the age of 25. The ethnic breakdown was 50 percent African American, 30 percent Hispanic, and 12 percent Caucasian. With an "A" CinemaScore, Ride Along is guaranteed to earn over $100 million by the end of its run.
Fellow Universal Pictures release Lone Survivor took second place this weekend with an estimated $23.2 million. The movie's light 39 percent decline can be attributed to strong word-of-mouth ("A+" CinemaScore) and an ongoing marketing push. To date, the Afghanistan war drama has earned $74 million.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
Box Office Mojo 2