Weekend B.O. Jan. 31 – Feb. 2 (Ride Along Hits The Trifecta. How?)

Box Office
by Sergio
February 2, 2014 12:12 PM
14 Comments
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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.

1) Ride Along Uni. $12,314,000 Total: $92,977,000 
20 Frozen BV $9,310,000 Total: $360,013,000 
3) That Awkward Moment Focus $9,010,000 
4) The Nut Job ORF $7,613,000   Total: $50,246,000   
5)  Lone Survivor Uni. $7,161,000  Total: $104,855,000  
6) Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Par. $5,400,000  Total: $38,968,000  
7) Labor Day Par. $5,300,000  
8) American Hustle Sony $4,300,000  Total:  $132,100,000  
9) The Wolf of Wall Street Par. $3,550,000 Total: $104,077,000  
10) I, Frankenstein LGF $3,520,000  Total: $14,490,000  
11) August: Osage County Wein. $2,886,000 Total:$31,514,000 
12) Gravity WB $2,005,000 Total: $263,972,000  
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14 Comments

  • Accidental Visitor | February 4, 2014 1:03 PMReply

    Never seen a Kevin Hart film in the theaters and only seen a couple on cable TV. Never went to a Kevin Hart concert. Have hardly seen any TV work of his either. So I’m not part of his fanbase.

    Still I’m happy for this development even if his work is not my cup of tea. The success of this movie proves that the black movie going audience is more influential than the industry credits it for or that the crossover appeal of films with black leads is greater than people think.
    It proves that a black movie can be highly successful despite no affiliation with Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, TD Jakes or Steve Harvey. Proves that such a film thereby doesn’t need official approval from the black church either.

    It shows that you can’t be a black person other than Will Smith and Denzel Washington and still see your film finish number one at the box office for multiple weeks. And by the trailer and TV advertisements barely acknowledging the black female love interest, the success of the film demonstrates that a so-called black flick can be successful without catering to black female consumers over anyone else (perhaps black guys support this film because it was a movie being sold to them for once).

    Perhaps most importantly this film signals the arrival of Hart as a major player. A new black star, one who can fill seats, has arrived. And while he may be limited in the type of roles he can play, the main thing to take away is that he is a bonafide major player at this point.

  • Imayeseekay | February 3, 2014 2:29 PMReply

    I know people that enjoyed the movie
    It sounds like....because you're a "film critic", you think that your taste in cinema is more refined than the average movie goer.
    It was what it was. Everything ain't for everybody. Add another cliche...Seattle Won!

  • beemooree | February 2, 2014 10:06 PMReply

    ppl missed ice cube on the big screen. his fan base goes way back

  • David | February 2, 2014 6:00 PMReply

    See the film in a crowded theater and you won't wonder why anymore. It is hilarious, and plays that way.

  • Jon Flores | February 3, 2014 11:40 AM

    I work in a theater which caters to a mostly white, Armenian and Latino/Hispanic population. Whenever I've checked the houses that Ride Along is playing in, people are laughing. It might be a terrible movie, but it's satisfying to crowds. 71% of 39,000 Rotten Tomato users (not critics) liked it.

  • jasmine | February 2, 2014 4:41 PMReply

    Great. It was released at a good time, can we move on please!

  • TRAMANISHA | February 2, 2014 4:22 PMReply

    I agree "Little to No Competition"

  • Carl | February 2, 2014 3:42 PMReply

    You pretty much summed it up with number one.

    "1 - Little to no competition"

  • Donella | February 2, 2014 3:00 PMReply

    Pickings were very slim this weekend.

  • Mark & Darla | February 2, 2014 2:51 PMReply

    The male love interest is a dark skin black female.

  • Miles Ellison | February 2, 2014 2:16 PMReply

    People like crap.

  • Cochise & Junebug | February 3, 2014 11:38 AM

    Miles said it best.

  • lurker | February 3, 2014 10:36 AM

    ^Ditto

    Both Ride Along and Frozen are actually terrible movies. But we are talking about a public that is obsessed with Justin Beaver, Dancing with D-List Stars, Kardashians, "talent" shows and The Bachelor... so of course that same atrocious taste in art extends to movie theaters.

  • Rocket | February 2, 2014 11:27 PM

    It's the money from "people who like crap" that drive the movie industry. Those people are more important than people (mainly critics) give them credit for. The industry was and never will be built on "high brow" artistic films.

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