New releases “Ride Along 2” and “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” are expected to hit the ground running over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend at the box office, along with the continued success of holdovers “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “The Revenant.”
“Ride Along 2” should finish the four-day weekend in first place with a haul close to $40 million, according to early studio projections. The sequel, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, follows the 2014 original, which grossed $135 million at the domestic box office. “Ride Along 2,” a Universal release, cruised to $1.26 million at 2,381 U.S. theaters in Thursday night showings. It expanded to more than 3,175 sites on Friday.
Michael Bay’s “13 Hours” is expected to take in up to $20 million over the holiday. The wartime drama took in a respectable $900,000 at 1,995 locations on Thursday night. It expanded to more than 2,400 locations on Friday. The Benghazi thriller is destined to be heavily scrutinized for how it portrays the team of six security contractors housed at a secret CIA annex.
“The Revenant,” which leads this year’s Oscar nominations with 12, ought to take in about $33 million, riding the news of its recently bestowed awards pedigree. Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the survival tale.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is on track for a total around $30 million. The space opera already holds the domestic record for highest-grossing film and continues to climb the list of all-time worldwide grossers. Last weekend it nabbed $42 million, just beating “The Revenant” in its opening frame.
Also bowing this weekend is Lionsgate’s animated pic “Norm of the North,” which should pull in $5 million to $10 million over the four-day holiday.