First off, keep in mind that the weekend overall box office totals will be higher once the numbers from tomorrow’s MLK Holiday are figured in. But, at least, we know a few things for sure.
All the B.O. pundits said that Ride Along with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube would land in the mid-$20 million range, just edging out or coming in a very close second to Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Well they were wrong. The comedy blew past Recruit, coming in at No. 1, with $41 million, (and a projected $48 million inclduing Monday figures) while Recruit came in a disappointing fourth, with $17 million.
The only exception was once again Erik Childress of WGN and WHPK radio, WCIU TV, Efilmcritic.com and RogerEbert.com who predicted weeks ago, before anyone else, a $40 million opening for the film, showing that, among B.O. analysts, he’s the best. (Well O.K. his prediction and analysis that A Madea Christmas would be the biggest grossing Madea film ever, was off the mark, but still he’s pretty solid 97% of the time)
All of this is very good news for Hart, proving that he can actually open a major non-concert film for which the jury was still out on, until now.
The success of the film is also a huge boost, career wise, for Ice Cube, whose film career has been sagging of late. Though the reviews for the film were on the whole pretty dreadful, the word of mouth will determine if the film has solid box office legs.
But with the $41 million added on to all his other films, Tim Story is, without question, the biggest money making black director, in terms of total worldwide box office, of all time.
And yet, we really don’t know much about him and there’s been very little written about him. I’ve never seen one single interview with him. Whether that’s by choice, or the media intentionally ignores him, is anybody’s guess.
(Which is just a blatant way of saying, anytime Story wants to talk to us, we will be more than happy.)
In the meantime, last week’s No. 1 film, Lone Survivor, held on pretty solidly in second place, while the animated film, The Nut Job, did better than expected, coming in third.
The other question was: would there be the usual Oscar box office boost for nominated films that are still playing in theaters? The answer to that question is, yes, especially for 12 Years a Slave and Captain Phillips.
12 Years leaped up to 17th place with $40.6 million to date (the foreign box office numbers for this past week will be reported later in the week) while Captain Phillips jumped up several notches, earning $105 million so far.