For the third straight weekend in a row, Tim Story’s Ride Along with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, was the number No. 1 film at the box office, with just over $12 million, beating out its only major new competitors, That Awkward Moment - which grossed $9 million - and the Josh Brolin/Kate Winslet romantic drama Labor Day - which tanked, with just $5.3 million.
With a total of almost $93 million to date, Ride Along will not only hit the $100 million mark, but will go past that, looking at a possible $120-125 million overall total. Needless to say, Story has confirmed that a sequel is in the works.
How did it do it, and why? I haven’t met one person who says that they actually like the film, and the overall critical ratings tag it mainly as a film of missed opportunities. So why is it doing so well? A few possible reasons:
1 - Little to no competition – Think about it. Ride Along had it lucky in the sense that there was simply nothing else that came out in January that could really challenge it. This January has seen slim pickings. Previous Januaries have had a more competitive selection of films. For example, what if The Book of Eli, which came out in mid January of 2010, had come out instead this year? How far would Ride Along have gone?
The other major studio release in January was Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which totally fizzled at the box office, because it seemed so terribly old fashioned and blah; and, unless someone can convince me otherwise, Chris Pine is not a movie star, nor does he have any genuine screen presence. Besides, I always get him confused with Chris Evans. Which one is Captain America and which one was in that runaway train movie with Denzel Washington?
2 - The Kevin Hart factor – I personally think Think Like A Man is the only film of his I've seen in which I actually thought Hart was funny; but obviously a whole lot of other people think he’s funny, which is all that matters at the box office. Forget Chris Pine... Evans... whoever. Kevin Hart is the real movie star.
3 - Crossover factor – You don’t make this kind of money, and so fast, unless you’re pulling in all types of film-goers: black and white, male and female, young and old, gay and straight, Christian and atheist, etc. You get the point. Despite the mainly black cast, the story and premise is broad, and appealing enough to attract all sorts of people.
4 - Maybe it’s actually funnier than I think it is.
Hey, if you have a better reason, say so in the comment section.
As for other films, Frozen just keeps going on and on without stopping, looking like it’s headed or $450 million domestically; and both Lone Survivor and The Wolf of Wall Street have passed the $100 million mark.
And 12 Years A Slave bumped up again a couple of notches to 14th place, with almost $46 million to date. At the rate it's going, I think the film could go past the $50 million gross I predicted for it, and inch towards $53-55 million domestically. The film now has a worldwide gross of over $80 million.