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Weekend Box Office: Ride Along Still Cruising On Top, I, Frankenstein DOA

View Chris Kavan's Profile

By Chris Kavan - 01/26/14 at 10:14 PM CT

As I predicted, it was a major case of deja vu at the box office this weekend as, except for one slight shift, the top five films were the same as last weekend. That's good for the current champions but not so good for the one new wide release that premiered. But it should be noted that as a whole January is considered one of the leaner months for movies. That being said, the most impressive movies over the weekend have been out for awhile - staying power has been more impressive than a lot of new entries (at least to me). That being said - here is the breakdown:

1) RIDE ALONG

For the second week in a row, Kevin Hart has a reason to be very happy. After crushing the Martin Luther King Day Holiday record, Ride Along easily took the top spot once again with a $21.16 million haul (down 49%) - giving the film a new total of $75.4 million. With that kind of steam - the film will have no problem crossing the $100 million mark - probably by next week (if not soon after). Does this mean Hart will be starring in Ride Along 2? If not - I don't think he's going to have any problem finding a new project as he's proven a big name on the big screen - and not just for standup.

2) LONE SURVIVOR

Also repeating in the second spot - the military drama Lone Survivor dropped about 43% and brought in $12.6 million - adding up to a new total of $93.6 million and should cross the $100 million about the same time as Ride Along (not as fast but just as impressive as far as I'm concerned). It should also be able to pass fellow war drama Zero Dark Thirty ($95.7 million) during the week as well. Both Ride Along and Lone Survivor are from Universal Pictures and the one-two combo (for two weeks) is, according to the studio, the first time that has happened since 1994 when Warner Bros. took the top two spots for two weeks with On Deadly Ground and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. If that isn't a Jeopardy question in the future - it should be.

3) THE NUT JOB

Sticking to the number three spot was The Nut Job - bringing in $12.3 million for a new total of $40.27 million. The 37% is a bit more than the 30% drop in the same time frame for Free Birds - but with no direct competition on the horizon, it should ultimately be able to surpass that films $55.3 million total - though we will see how the next few weeks play out. In fact, the biggest competition for the animated film is the movie right below it....

4) FROZEN

Jumping up a spot from last weekend, Frozen retook the fourth place with $9.03 million and raised its total up to $347.8 million. Excluding re-release numbers, Frozen passed Finding Nemo as the highest-grossing original animated film of all time. And it is still in line to pass Despicable Me 2 ($368.1 million) to become the highest-grossing animated film of 2013 (probably by mid-February with current numbers). World-wide, Frozen should also be able to top the $1 billion mark, making it one of the bigger films from last year.

5) JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT

With Frozen back on the rise, it meant Jack Ryan had to take a hit. After a somewhat disappointing opening last weekend, the spy thriller took a 43% hit, bringing in $8.8 million and giving it a new total of $30.2 million (half of its reported $60 million budget). The last time Jack Ryan was in theaters (with The Sum of All Fears) it had made that much in its first weekend. While the film is likely to make back its money on the global market - unless it proves a much bigger hit overseas, it's hard to see this spy given another outing.

Outside the top five: The year is young, but we already have a contender for biggest bomb. The fantasy action film I, Frankenstein opened with just $8.3 million That total is even less than Legend of Hercules (which opened to just $8.9 million on a much more modest marketing push) and considering this effort cost $65 million before marketing - it is likely to lose more money than the $70 million Hercules misstep. The studio was probably banking on an Underworld-style opening (all of them opened to at least $20 million plus) but the trailers were not interesting and the audience wasn't willing to follow. Those that did show up tended to be older (60% over 25) and male (62%). The 3D sales accounted for 60% of the grosses and it only received a "B" Cinemeascore - this all adds up to a film that will fade fast and will likely fall short of $20 million.

Two films expanded - Dallas Buyers Club added 691 theaters to jump to over 1100 theaters and rose 117% in the process jumping from 22nd to 14th place with $2.045 million, giving the award-winning film a new $20.37 million total. Given the awards love it has been given so far, it could have a nice run ahead of it.

Alexander Payne's Nebraska also added plenty of theaters, 560 to be exact, and expanded to 968 theaters total. It jumped 62.5% - from 23rd to 18th place, and brought in $1.43 million and a new total of $11.6 million. In a competitive year, it's looking like this is going to be the Best Picture nominee with the lowest overall total grosses (not that I would hold it it against it).

Next week, once again, offers little in the way of competition as we have Jason Reitman's Labor Day, which, despite starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, has been compared to a standard Lifetime Original movie (that is NOT a good thing) and the other new entry is That Awkward Moment, which looks like a generic rom-com as you can get (and yes, Zac Efron is one of the main characters). I expect another near repeat at the box office unless Labor Day attracts a weepy woman crowd.

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