Weekend Wrap Up: Kevin Hart Takes America for a Ride

2014 is off to an unexpectedly strong start. Last weekend, we had the unexpectedly high opening of breakout film Lone Survivor. Now this weekend, we had another surprise hit, one that will go into the record books for the biggest January opening ever. In addition, the rest of the top ten was strong, with pretty much every film getting helped out by the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

Ride Along

RideAlongPoster

Kevin Hart’s popularity has clearly reached new levels, as awful reviews could not stop Ride Along from beating out Cloverfield for the biggest January opening ever with a potent $41.2 million opening. January is usually one of the worst months of the year for films, so to have two movies open above $35 million two weeks in a row is extraordinary. But, as I said, Kevin Hart is riding high (see what I did there?) and has expanded his appeal to all audiences. I expect Ride Along to be very front-loaded, but $100 million isn’t out of the question for now.

Last weekend’s champ, Lone Survivor, dropped a respectable 39% to $23.3 million. That brings the total to $74 million. At this point, $100 million is a foregone conclusion and the Mark Wahlberg picture could go as high as $125 million. In third, The Nut Job opened to $20.6 million, which was a few million above expectations. That’s good but not great, and I’m hoping this movie falls off a cliff next weekend so it stops taking money away from Frozen.

Jack Ryan disappointed with a $17.2 million debut. While most predictions had pegged it in the mid 20s range, I guess the marketplace was too crowded and the Chris Pine thriller did look a bit generic. So it might end up around $50 million. In fifth, Frozen slipped just 19% to $12 million. I can’t help the feeling that its hold would’ve been quite a bitter (hell, it might have even increased a little) if not for the direct competition from The Nut Job. That said, Anna, Elsa, Olaf and the rest of the gang have now amassed $332.6 million in total. Frozen is slowing down, but it should still finish around $350 million.

Benefiting from Golden Globe wins and Oscar nominations, America Hustle increased 28% to $10.6 million. If the David O. Russell film manages to steal a Best Picture Oscar (which it really, really shouldn’t), then that could give it another boost. That said, American Hustle now has a total of $116.4 million and could be looking at a total around $140 million.

Down in seventh, Devil’s Due opened $8.5 million. And….I got nuthin’. Increasing 6%, August: Osage County pulled in $7.6 million. Though it increased slightly, the film did more than double its number of theatres so that uptick is hardly an indicator of stellar word of mouth or anything like that. Anyway, give the film $18.2 million. The Wolf of Wall Street dropped just 15% to $7.5 million and lifted its sum to $90.3 million. A total around $110 million seems likely.

Saving Mr. Banks wrapped up the top ten with a $4.2 million weekend and it was down 37%. A $74.5 million total is solid. And that does it for a surprisingly strong January weekend. Next weekend, things should slow down quite a bit as we get just one new opener, the absolutely ridiculous looking (though that’s not necessarily a bad thing) I, Frankenstein. Until we meet again.

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