Box Office: Kevin Hart Rides Along for Third Weekend at No. 1

ridealong After two weekends in the No. 1 spot at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo, Universal Studios’ Ride Along hasn’t given an inch to its competitors. Although the film’s box office earnings have declined steadily since its release, no other film has stepped up to challenge it at the theaters.

Starring comedian Kevin Hart, Ride Along follows a day in the life of Hart’s security guard character, Ben, as he attempts to prove that he’s worthy to marry the love of his life. Of course, to do so, Ben has no choice but to join his full-fledged policeman future brother-in-law, played by rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube, on a twenty-four-hour patrol of Atlanta, Georgia. Naturally, hilarity ensues, and it has continued unfalteringly since its release on January 17.

With an opening weekend box office take of $41.5 million, Ride Along easily trumped the second place feature, Universal’s Lone Survivor, which was on its fourth weekend and made $22 million. Other films made their debut on the same weekend as Ride Along, but none followed along with the same kind of success.

Paramount’s action-thriller, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, is a rehashing of Tom Clancy’s titular character, Jack Ryan. It took the No. 4 spot and $15.4 million on its opening weekend, falling well behind Ride Along. In its second weekend, it fell to the No. 5 spot and took $9 million. Last weekend, it continued its downward slide, hitting No. 6 and pulling $5.4 million.

Another film that opened the same weekend as Ride Along was Open Road Films’ The Nut Job. While the plot followed squirrels in a food caper somewhat similar to that of Pixar’s Ratatouille, the film has not followed along with the same kind of success. The Nut Job opened at No. 3 in the box office and held that spot for a second weekend. This past weekend it slipped to the No. 4 spots, and its earnings fell from an opening-weekend $19.4 million to a much smaller $7.1 million. One last semi-successful film opened the same weekend as Ride Along, but had a very different success story from the others. That is, it didn’t have a success story at all. From 20th Century Fox, Devil’s Due tells the story of a horrific pregnancy for two newly-weds as evil grows in the wife’s womb and starts to have a profound affect on her own psyche. Though the film opened at No. 7 in the box office, with $8.3 million, it has since fallen to No. 20.

While the same-age films haven’t been able to scratch away at Ride Along’s success, even some newer and higher-acclaimed films haven’t been able to budge Kevin Hart and Ice Cube’s comic duo. Ride Along is truly a story of fans versus critics. RottenTomatoes shows the film as having a 17 percent Fresh rating from critics, but fans couldn’t disagree more, as 71 percent claim to have liked it and gave it an average rating for 3.9 out of 5.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a film that theoretically should have outperformed Ride Along, having a Fresh rating of 57 percent, but the audiences just haven’t liked it as much. Only 64 percent of viewers liked the film on RottenTomatoes, and they gave it an average rating of 3.6 out of 5.

The only films to come close were Universal’s Lone Survivor and Buena Vista’s Frozen. Fans and critics agree on the quality of Frozen — it has a Fresh score of 89 percent and 89 percent of viewers liked the film — however, the film has already been out for two months, making it hard-pressed to take the No. 1 spot again. Oddly enough, Frozen did come close, taking No. 2 last weekend and actually seeing a positive bump in box office earnings. Lone Survivor, telling the true story of a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan, also had high reviews. With a Tomatometer rating of 73 percent and 90 percent of fans liking the film, it would have had a good chance to knock out Ride Along if it weren’t also a bit old. The past weekend was Lone Survivor’s sixth weekend.

Where critical reception didn’t help, youth had no luck either. Paramount’s Labor Day and Focus Features’ That Awkward Moment both opened just this past weekend. While their youth may have helped them earn some cash — $5.3 million and $9 million, respectively — it didn’t manage to over take Ride Along. Both films also boast higher Fresh scores than Ride Along, but audience reviews are still less favorable for the newer films.

This coming weekend looks to be a different story, with Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Lego Movie coming to theaters with its star-studded voice-acting cast, 100 percent Fresh rating on RottenTomatoes, and a large percent of fans interested in seeing the movie. See the preview here.

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