Box Office: Universal Cruises as ‘Ride Along’ Scores Record $47.8 Mil

Slap-stick comedy scores largest opening ever during Martin Luther King weekend

Universal is having a helluva ride at the box office this Martin Luther King weekend, with Kevin Hart-Ice Cube comedy “Ride Along” posting a stellar $41.2 million in three days and $47.8 million in four, making it the holiday frame’s biggest bow ever.

Internationally, Disney’s “Frozen” led the charge with an estimated $24.6 million from 52 territories, representing 89% of the overseas market place. The film opened this weekend in South Korea, where it grossed $8.9 million. In total, “Frozen” has cumed $426.5 million and counting.

In a tight horse-race with Open Road’s toon comedy “The Nut Job,” Universal also scored the No. 2 domestic spot with holdover “Lone Survivor” grossing $23.2 million Friday-Sunday, with $27.6 million through Monday.

The Nut Job” benefited from being the newest animated offering for families since “Frozen,” estimating a solid $20.6 million in three days. The toon received a so-so ‘B’ CinemaScore and should see a stronger-than-usual hold on Monday considering family films are less affected by football on Sunday.

“We knew we were going to do well,” said Open Road topper Tom Ortenberg, “but this certainly was at the top-end of our expectations.”

Open Road estimates “Nut Job” will earn $27.2 million through Martin Luther King day.

Also opening wide this weekend, Paramount’s “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” grossed a disappointing $17.2 million in three days, with $20 million in four. The film, however, performed better internationally, with $22.2 million from only half of the overseas markets.

“There was certainly a lot of competition in the market place for adult-targeted movies,” said Par vice chairman Rob Moore, “but it’s certianly on pace to becoming the highest-grossing film in the franchise internationally.”

Fox’s horror film “Devil’s Due” saw a modest $8.5 million in three days. The film bowed Friday at 2,544 locations domestically.

Most of the competition for adult-skewing films came from wide expansions of Oscar-nominated films, led by Sony’s “American Hustle,” the Weinstein Co.’s “August: Osage County” and Par’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

American Hustle” saw a 28% bump over last weekend, grossing $10.6 million, bringing its domestic cume to $116.4 million. Meanwhile, “August” grossed $7.6 million (for a cume of $18.2 million), followed closely by “Wolf of Wall Street,” which collected $7.5 million Friday-Sunday for a Stateside total of north of $90 million.

Other Academy pics benefiting from multiple nods include Fox Searchlight’s “12 Years a Slave,” which nabbed $1.8 million Friday-Monday at just 760 theaters, as well as Paramount’s “Nebraska,” grossing $1.1 million from 408.

Uber-stellar ‘Ride’

Not surprisingly, “Ride Along,” which cost only $25 million to produce, scored half of its opening from African Americans, with Hispanics comprising 30% of the weekend gross.

The film, however, scored a strong contingency of female moviegoers, outnumbering male auds, at 57%.

Nikki Rocco, prexy of domestic distribution for Universal, said the “timing was perfect for this kind of slap-stick comedy,” adding that there are no sufficient past comparisons from which to draw upon.

“I think all of our filmmakers did an incredible and tireless job working on this film,” she added. “People will be using this film as a comp for this weekend in the future.”

The film, which received an ‘A’ CinemaScore, now has as the second-largest three-day opening for an urban-targeted film behind “Bad Boys II,” which made $46.5 million opening weekend.

Popular on Variety

More Data

  • India, South Korea Lead Surge in

    India, South Korea Lead Surge in Asian Production, Rights Spending

    Spending on film, TV and online video content in Asia grew by 12% in 2018, a significant leap from 8% the previous year. The strongest growth came from India and South Korea, with Indonesia and Vietnam following. Data from the latest edition of Asia Video Content Dynamics, published by research and consultancy firm Media Partners [...]

  • Pride Parade and Festival in Salt

    New Study Shows Decline in LGBTQ Acceptance Among Young Americans

    A new study from GLAAD shows a significant decline in LGBTQ acceptance among young Americans aged 18-34. In a national survey among U.S. adults called the Accelerating Acceptance Index, the percentage of young Americans reporting being “very” or “somewhat” comfortable with LGBTQ people across seven scenarios dropped from 53% to 45%, marking the second consecutive [...]

  • Majelan

    French Podcast App Majelan Launches With 13 Million Audio Episodes Across 50 Countries

    While the podcast space is heating up with a variety of players including Apple, Audible, Spotify and Luminary, a smaller-yet-promising French app called Majelan is rolling out across 50 countries with an international library of 280 000 audio series, or 13 millions episodes, in 15 languages. Majelan is also kicking off with 20 original or [...]

  • Globe Centred On Asia And Oceania,

    APOS: Online Video Headed for 15% Annual Growth, Disrupting Asia Markets

    A blistering 15% annual growth of online video will give the Asian video industry (TV, pay-TV, home entertainment and streaming) a growth rate nearly double that of North America for the next five years. According to a new report from Media Partners Asia, published on the eve of the APOS conference in Indonesia, Asia’s online [...]

  • FICCI-Frames: Digital Growing, But TV Still

    FICCI-Frames: TV Dominates India's Entertainment Sector (Study)

    India’s creative industries sector, comprising television, film, OTT and related industries had an overall market size of $23.9 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow 12% to reach $33.6 billion by 2021. That is according to the annual EY report released during the Frames conference in Mumbai, organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    European Cinema Admissions Down 3.3% in 2018, but Hit 1.25 Billion for Fourth Year in a Row

    European cinema admissions hit 1.25 billion for the fourth consecutive year in 2018, despite dropping 3.3% from the record level set in 2017, according to figures released Wednesday by the International Union of Cinemas, or UNIC. Total box office revenue across Europe hit at least €8 billion ($9.1 billion), also for the fourth year running. The figures [...]

  • International 2018 Box Office Profits

    International Box Office Top 100 of 2018: Another Record Year, but Rise Is Slight

    International box office ticked up 1% over 2017 to a record $29.8 billion, helping to drive worldwide moviegoing up 2.7% to a new high-water mark of $41.7 billion. Most of the global increase came from North America, which surged 7% to $11.9 billion. “Avengers: Infinity War” became the seventh film to gross more than $1 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content