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Ride Along tops US box office with Martin Luther King Jr. holiday record

Ride Along

Story by Jack Foley

BUDDY cop comedy Ride Along, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, has topped the US box office over Martin Luther King Jr weekend with $41.2 million.

That figure, which is expected to rise to $48 million or more for the four-day weekend, is the best performance of all-time for a film opening on that weekend. 2008’s Cloverfield was the previous record-holder with a three-day gross of $40.1 million and four-day gross of $46.1 million.

According to figures released by Universal, the film’s distributor, Ride Along also scored the top opening for the month of January (three day) and one of the best debuts ever for an African-American comedy. It cost an estimated $25 million to make.

Completing an excellent weekend for Universal was the fact that last week’s box office winner, Lone Survivor, took a further $23.2 million (which is projected to rise to $27.6 million), to claim second spot. The film, starring Mark Wahlberg and based on the true story of a Navy SEAL tragedy, has now taken $78.4 million in the US.

Animated family film The Nut Job, which features lead vocals from Will Arnett, also performed a lot better than expected, hitting $20.6 million for the three-day weekend, which is projected to rise to $27.2 million.

The only disappointment was Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which was intended to reboot the Jack Ryan franchise previously made famous by Harrison Ford.

The Chris Pine star vehicle, directed by Kenneth Branagh, was expected to have challenged for top spot but instead came fourth with a three-day gross of $17.2 million, which is projected to rise to $20.4 million.

Shadow Recruit actually performed better overseas, where it opened to a strong $22.4 million as it started rolling out. It has yet to open in the UK.

Another new entry, the $7 million horror flick Devil’s Due also disappointed with a low $8.5 million for the three days (rising to $9.5 million?). It placed seventh behind Disney holdover Frozen and awards darling, American Hustle.

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