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Box Office: ‘Ride Along 2,’ ‘The Revenant’ to Fend Off ‘Star Wars,’ 3 Newcomers

Ride Along 2” and “The Revenant” will lead the U.S. box office again this weekend, fending off the sixth frame of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and a trio of newcomers.

Early forecasts have placed Universal’s “Ride Along 2” and Fox’s “The Revenant” at about $20 million each for the Friday-Sunday period with the seventh “Star Wars” movie in the $13 million to $15 million range. The openings of Lionsgate’s comedy “Dirty Grandpa,” STX’s horror-thriller “The Boy” and Sony’s sci-fier “The 5th Wave” will battle for the fourth spot in the $9 million to $13 million range.

“Ride Along 2” wound up the Martin Luther King holiday weekend with a solid $41 million at 3,175 locations — only $7 million short of the original’s 2014 launch in the same frame. Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The Revenant” showed plenty of traction following its 12 Oscar nominations with $37.5 million at 3,559 sites. Disney’s “The Force Awakens” followed with $33 million to lift its record-setting domestic total to $859 million after 32 days.

“Both ‘The Revenant’ and ‘Ride Along 2’ are in a great position to capitalize on the typically slow late January corridor to likely maintain their positions at the top of the chart,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Rentrak.

Dergarabedian noted it makes sense to release the three new movies — all of which have moderate budgets — at this point of the year.

“Often modestly budgeted titles or films that have a better shot of gaining traction than at other more competitive times of the year are released during this release period and this year is no exception,” he added.

Dirty Grandpa,” an R-rated comedy starring Robert DeNiro and Zac Efron as a grandfather-grandson duo frolicking in Florida on spring break, is expected to take in $10 million to $12 million at 2,900 locations. BillBlock Media financed the film.

De Niro’s currently seen opposite Jennifer Lawrence in “Joy.” He starred alongside Anne Hathaway in the PG-13 comedy “The Intern,” which performed respectably with more than $190 million worldwide.

“The 5th Wave” stars Chloë Grace Moretz as a heroic teen trying to save her younger sibling amidst brutal alien attacks. Box office trackers forecast a $11 million to $13 million debut, while the studio opts for a more conservative $8 million launch.

“The 5th Wave,” based on the Rick Yancey novel, will open at about 2,900 U.S. sites. The pic — co-financed by LStar Capital for $38 million — grossed $8.6 million internationally in 20 markets last weekend with the U.K., Russia and Spain launching this frame.

The supernatural thriller “The Boy” is pegged at $9 million to $11 million at about 2,600 locations. The film has a $10 million budget and is co-financed by STX Entertainment and Lakeshore, with Lakeshore putting up the P and A, and handling foreign rights.

“The Boy” is tracking strongest to women under 25 and teens. William Brent Bell (“The Devil Inside”) helms from a script by Stacey Menear. Lauren Cohan (“The Walking Dead”) stars as a young American woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village, only to discover that the family’s 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that the parents care for just like a real boy.

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