Tim Story’s ‘Ride Along’ smashed the MLK weekend record on its North American launch, grossing a whopping $48.1m from 2,663 theatres over the extended four-day session. The action comedy, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, exceeded market expectations by an astonishing $13-18m, making it Universal’s second consecutive release after last weekend’s ‘Lone Survivor’ to take the market by surprise. The film missed the mark with critics but connected with audiences, where it scored a first night ‘A’ CinemaScore.
Open Road also enjoyed a stronger than anticipated extended weekend with its first ever animated release, ‘The Nut Job’. The comedy adventure earned a powerful $25m over the four days from a market high 3,427 theatres on its way to being the strongest ever debut by a non-studio animated film, notwithstanding a so-so ‘B’ CinemaScore.
Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ opened on $17.4m from 3,387 theatres, fractionally below market forecasts. A first nighters’ ‘B’ CinemaScore left word of mouth flat for the revived franchise.
And the other wide opener, Fox’s R-rated low budget horror, ‘Devil’s Due’ could only muster $10m from 2,544 during the four days. Its ‘D+’ CinemaScore was poor even for the tough marking horror crowd.