Weekend Predictions: Will Jack Ryan Win or is it just Along for the Ride

Ride Along poster

At the beginning of the month, I thought this weekend would be a close race between Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Ride Along. That might still be the case, but it is increasingly unlikely, as Jack Ryan's buzz hasn't kept pace with the buzz for Ride Along. Additionally, Jack Ryan has direct competition from Lone Survivor, which nearly set the January record last weekend and should remain potent this weekend. This weekend last year, Mama won the weekend with $28.40 million and I don't think Ride Along will top that. On the other hand, last year there were only three films that topped $10 million, while this year there could be as many as seven or eight. (All four wide releases have a shot at $10 million, but it is likely not all will get there. There are two holdovers that will earn more than $10 million. Finally, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street might get an Oscar bounce back to $10 million.) Even in the worst case scenario, four films will crack $10 million. 2014 should win for the first time in the week-over-week comparison.

Ride Along is earning the best buzz of the four wide releases this weekend, but not the best reviews. In fact, the critics are eviscerating this movie, saying it falls for all of the Buddy Cop comedy clichés and simply lacks the laughs needed to carry the movie. On the other hand, Kevin Hart is one of the hottest stand-up comics around and he could help this film open with more than $30 million over the four day weekend. I'm going with $26 million over the three day weekend and $31 million if you include Monday.

Lone Survivor opened even better than expected last weekend and it has a good chance of holding on rather well this weekend. Its reviews are much better than most January releases and with the holidays, it should hold up well. Last weekend I predicted it would make $22 million, and I was wrong. This weekend I'm predicting it will make $22 million.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit would earn first place this weekend, but its buzz has not grown as well as I would have liked. This is a shame, because its reviews are actually really good for a January release. It might still surprise, as Lone Survivor did last weekend, earning over $22 million over the three-day weekend and close to $28 million over four. However, I think $22 million over the four date weekend is more likely. This will put it in a virtual tie for second place.

The holiday should help Frozen remain in the top five one more weekend earning $12 million over the three-day weekend and $15 million over five.

Up next is The Nut Job, which is sadly earning even worse reviews than I was expecting. It might dip below the 10% level by the end of the weekend. Worse still, it appears that Frozen will beat it at the box office over the weekend. Look for just over $10 million during the three-day weekend and $13 million in total.

The final wide release of the week is Devil's Due. The buzz here is also not as good as one would like while its reviews are mixed. (They are fine for a January release, but nothing more.) Since Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones missed expectations a couple of weeks ago and this film is aimed at the same target demographic, there's reason to be worried. On the high end, it could compete for fourth place with $15 million over the four-day weekend. However, it is more likely it will miss the top ten with $8 million over the three-day weekend for a total opening of $11 million.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-01-17