Bloomberg News

Universal’s ‘Ride Along’ Tops Box Office With $21.2 Million

January 27, 2014

‘Ride Along’

Recording artist and actor Ice Cube, left, and actor Kevin Hart, attend a screening of "Ride Along" on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, in New York. Photographer: Andy Kropa/Invision via AP Photo

“Ride Along,” the buddy comedy with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, placed first in U.S. and Canadian theaters for a second weekend, collecting $21.2 million for Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US)’s Universal Pictures.

“I, Frankenstein,” a revisiting of Mary Shelley’s classic monster story, flopped. It took in $8.3 million to place sixth for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF:US) in the only wide release debut this past weekend, Rentrak Corp. (RENT:US) said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The film, starring Aaron Eckhart, had a production budget of $65 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Receipts of “Ride Along,” together with those of the military drama “Lone Survivor” have lifted Universal to No. 1 in domestic sales so far in 2014. The popularity of both films have been aided by the appeal of their leading actors -- comedian Hart in “Ride Along” and Mark Wahlberg in “Lone Survivor,” a film about Navy SEAL commandos.

“Universal has to be thrilled by the way they’ve started the year,” said Phil Contrino, chief analyst for researcher BoxOffice.com.

In “Ride Along,” Hart’s character, a security guard, agrees to join his girlfriend’s brother, an Atlanta cop played by Ice Cube, on a 24-hour patrol to prove he’s worthy of marrying his sister and joining the force. The film got a 73 percent audience approval rating, according to aggregator site RottenTomatoes.com, and has benefited from Hart’s growing popularity with cinema goers.

‘Ho-Hum Film’

“Ride Along” was projected to take in $20.5 million in its second weekend, according to BoxOffice.com.

“I, Frankenstein” is based on the novel by Kevin Grevioux. Eckhart plays Adam Frankenstein, who finds himself in the middle of a war between two immortal clans. It also features Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto and Grevioux. Stuart Beattie, a writer on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, wrote and directed.

The movie was projected to garner $15.3 million in sales and got a 5 percent positive rating in reviews compiled by RottenTomatoes.com.

“Beattie’s solemn, ho-hum film largely shuns Shelley’s anguished creator as a character and turns his lonely monster into a football between the forces of good and evil,” wrote Nicolas Rapold in the New York Times.

‘Nut Job’

Among returning films, “Lone Survivor,” about a failed U.S. mission to track down an al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan, generated $12.6 million for Universal to place second in its fifth week. It has collected $93.6 million in domestic ticket sales since Dec. 25.

With $152 million as of Jan. 23, Universal has commanded a 21 percent share of the U.S. and Canadian box office this year, according to Box Office Mojo. Viacom Inc. (VIAB:US)’s Paramount Pictures was second with 20 percent.

“The Nut Job,” an animated picture from Open Road Films, placed third with $12.3 million in its second weekend, according to Rentrak. About a cantankerous squirrel called Surly who’s banished from his park and forced to survive in the city, the movie has generated $40.3 million to date in domestic theaters.

“Frozen,” the animated feature from Walt Disney Co. (DIS:US), placed fourth with $9 million. The movie has collected $347.8 million domestically, according to Box Office Mojo.

Weekend revenue for the top 10 films rose 13 percent to $92.1 million from the year-earlier period, Rentrak said. Domestic box-office sales year to date are $824.9 million, up 8 percent from a year earlier.

The following table has U.S. movie box-office figures provided by studios to Rentrak. The amounts are based on gross ticket sales for Jan. 24 and Jan. 25, and estimates for yesterday.

                   Rev.   Pct.             Avg./    Total
   Movie           (mln)  Chg.   Theaters  Theater  (mln)   Wks
===============================================================
1 Ride Along      $21.2   -49    2,759    $7,670    $75.4    2
2 Lone Survivor    12.6   -43    3,131     4,024     93.6    5
3 Nut Job, The     12.3   -37    3,472     3,547     40.3    2
4 Frozen            9.0   -23    2,757     3,277    347.8   10
5 Jack Ryan         8.8   -43    3,387     2,598     30.2    2
6 I, Frankenstein   8.3    --    2,753     3,006      8.3    1
7 American Hustle   7.1   -28    2,304     3,082    127.0    7
8 Osage County      5.04  -32    2,411     2,091     26.5    5
9 Wolf Of Wall St.  5.0   -29    1,804     2,772     98.0    5
10 Devil’s Due      2.8   -67    2,544     1,081     12.9    2

Top 10 Film Grosses:

  This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
    (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
==================================
   $92.1        $81.2         +13

Year-to-date Revenue:

     2014          2013
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $824.9        $764.5         +8

Source: Rentrak Corp.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Livesey in San Francisco at blivesey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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Companies Mentioned

  • CMCSA
    (Comcast Corp)
    • $57.02 USD
    • -0.06
    • -0.11%
  • LGF
    (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp)
    • $33.8 USD
    • 0.51
    • 1.51%
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