“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.
“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.
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.
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