Weekend Wrap-Up: Ride Cruises to the Finish Line

Ride Along poster

It was a record-breaking weekend with Ride Along earning the biggest January opening weekend and the biggest MLK long weekend. Needless to say, it crushed expectations. Additionally, The Nut Job overcame terrible reviews to earn a solid opening, at least according to estimates. Overall, the box office pulled in $176 million over the three-day weekend, which is 26% more than the three-day weekend last week and last year. Over the four-day weekend, the box office pulled in $211 million, or 28% more than last year's MLK long weekend. That's great news, as 2014 was below 2013's pace. In fact, after this weekend, 2014 has pulled ahead of 2013 by 8% at $671 million to $621 million.

Ride Along broke records with $41.52 million over the three-day weekend, biggest January opening weekend weekend, and $48.63 million from Friday through Monday, biggest four-day MLK weekend. This tops the previous records held by Cloverfield. It did this despite earning awful reviews. A Tomatometer Score of 19% positive is terrible, no matter how you look at it. On the other hand, the film's Cinemascore was an A, so the average moviegoer loved the movie. This could help the film earn strong legs, but even if it doesn't, it will still likely be an early $100 million hit.

Lone Survivor held on strong with $22.06 million over the three-day weekend and $25.93 million over the four-day weekend. After eleven days of release, the film has pulled in $76.74 million and it is well on its way to $100 million. Technically it is December release, but it only made $188,000 before the new year, so it is not completely inaccurate to say it is a January release.

The Nut Job was a surprise hit earning an estimated $19.41 million over the three-day portion of the weekend and $25.26 million over four. It is another film that beat predictions despite earning terrible reviews. Normally, 13% positive reviews would kill a film's legs, but it is a kids film and there's not much else for them to watch, at least not till The Lego Movie comes out.

Despite earning a Tomatometer Score that is better than the the rest of the new releases combined, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit still failed to meet expectations with $15.45 million / $18.03 million during its opening weekend. Its reviews were 63% positive, which is good for a wide release and great compared to most January releases. Unfortunately, it seems the direct competition was just too much.

Frozen earned $11.77 million / $16.07 million over the weekend, which was actually a little better than predictions. Its running tally is now $336.70 million, keeping it on pace to reach $350 million by the time it is done. Most analysts thought it would earn less than $200 million, so this is an amazing result.

American Hustle rose thanks to the Oscar nominations, but just missed $10 million over the weekend with $9.87 million / $11.76 million. It has pulled in $117.60 million after 39 days of release and should cross $150 million, especially if it can turn some of its Oscar nominations into Oscar wins.

The final wide release of the week was Devil's Due, which earned seventh place with $8.31 million / $9.15 million. This is less than predicted and its reviews will likely result in short legs. On the other hand, this might be more than it cost to make, so the studio should be relatively happy.

Looking in on the sophomore class, we find The Legend of Hercules in 13th place with $3.40 million / $4.15 million over the weekend. It fell 62% over the three-day weekend, which is really high, especially since there was a holiday. Overall, the film has made just $15.13 million after eleven days of release. This is a disaster for a film that cost $70 million to make.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-01-21