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Box office report: 'Ride Along' runs over 'I, Frankenstein'

The Kevin Hart comedy Ride Along continued to speed through a typically quiet box-office frame, while the monster thriller I, Frankenstein couldn’t be roused from the dead.

Universal’s buddy cop comedy Ride Along, co-starring Ice Cube, cruised to the top of the box office again, taking in $21.2 million in its second weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. The film last week set a January debut record, with $48.6 million over the three-day holiday weekend.

For the second weekend in a row, Universal claimed No. 1 and No. 2 at the box office, with the Afghanistan war film Lone Survivor earning $12.6 million in its fifth week. With a cumulative total of $93.6 million, the relatively inexpensive Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg, will soon cross the $100 million mark. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'I, Frankenstein' won't look alive next to 'Ride Along'

Only one new release is hitting theaters this weekend: I, Frankenstein, the Aaron Eckhart action thriller with a distinctly Van Helsing/Underworld vibe to it. Chances are, the creature feature won’t be able to lurch past Ride Along to capture a weekend win. Here’s how the box office might play out:

1. Ride Along – $21 million
The Ice Cube/Kevin Hart buddy cop comedy scored the best January opening of all time last weekend, drawing $41.5 million in its first three days (and $48.6 million over the extended holiday frame). A 50 percent drop would give it another $21 million and a scorching $75 million total.
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Box office report: 'Ride Along' dominates with $47.8 million, breaks January record

It’s good to be Kevin Hart and Ice Cube this weekend. The increasingly ubiquitous Hart, who recently told EW that Ride Along is “my baby,” scored big with a $41.2 million opening weekend for the buddy-cop comedy. That should jump to an estimated $47.8 million when one factors in the Monday MLK Jr. holiday. Not only does the impressive haul surpass expectations for Universal’s leanly budgeted $25 million comedy, but it also breaks the record for a January opening. (If you’re still not sold on the Hart/Cube pairing, whose chemistry lifted the film to an “A” approval rating with CinemaScore audiences, let this stupendous spot on Conan give you a taste of their chemistry.)

Universal folks have further reason to thrust their chests out this weekend. Buoyed by rapturous word of mouth, the studio’s real-SEAL heart-thumper Lone Survivor dropped just 38 percent to deliver an impressive $23.2 million in its fourth weekend. Director Peter Berg, whose Battleship bombed so badly, made Lone Survivor for $40 million and now can boast about a $74 million domestic total.

Sliding into the No. 3 spot is Open Road Films’ animated The Nut Job. With families looking for holiday entertainment, The Nut Job should swap places with Lone Survivor by the end of Monday. The squirrel comedy, which earned a solid “B” rating from CinemaScore audiences, managed to outperform its modest expectations.

Alas, the same can’t be said for Paramount’s stab at rebooting its Jack Ryan franchise, with Star Trek actor Chris Pine playing the action-hero CIA agent who’s previously been played by the likes of Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which the studio made for $60 million, debuts at a rather limp No. 4 with just $17.2 million. A “B” CinemaScore rating shouldn’t do much to attract moviegoers distracted by all the Oscar-nominated films they want to see before the big show. That said, Shadow Recruit fared better overseas, with $22.2 million from only half of the international markets.

Frozen hung on in the No. 5 spot, with Disney’s domestic kitty now totaling nearly $333 million. But hot on its heels was American Hustle, which earned 10 Oscar nominations and last night walked away with a SAG award for best ensemble cast. David O. Russell’s caper, starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence, enjoyed a 28 percent jump with a $10.6 million haul in its sixth weekend; its total gross rose to $116.4 million. The Meryl Streep/Julia Roberts family drama August: Osage County likewise enjoyed a jump in box office to $7.6 million as it more than doubled its theater count to 2,051; its cume stands at nearly $18.2 million.

The only other other notable new release is Devil’s Due, Eli Roth’s found-footage horror movie that was hoping to benefit from its mega-viral “Devil Baby” campaign. The film failed to crack the top 5 and earned a dismal “D+” CinemaScore rating. That’s a bleak showing, and yet the $7 million film already recouped its investment with an $8.5 million debut.

The top five:

1. Ride Along — $41.2 million

2. Lone Survivor — $23.2 million

3. The Nut Job — $20.55 million

4. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit — $17.2 million

5. Frozen— $12 million

Box office update: 'Ride Along' cruises ahead to $14.5 million on Friday

Kevin Hart, who has four movies coming out this year and will likely be a player in many coming box office updates, and Ice Cube topped Friday’s box office with their new buddy cop comedy Ride Along. The Universal picture, made for a lean $25 million, earned $14.5 million on its first night and should continue to stir up brisk business over the long MLK Jr. holiday weekend.

Meanwhile, Lone Survivor, buoyed by exceedingly strong word of mouth, shows true grit in the No. 2 spot, with $6.7 million on Friday. Director Peter Berg’s real-SEAL heart thumper now stands tall at $57.5 million in domestic totals. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Ride Along' will nab more attention than 'Jack Ryan'

Last week, Lone Survivor targeted the top spot at the box office — and accomplished its mission with impressive marks. The Mark Wahlberg SEAL picture grossed a stunning $37.8 million, and thanks to its “A+” CinemaScore, it’s set to bring in the big bucks once again this time around. Of course, two high-profile newcomers won’t make it easy for the drama over the extended Martin Luther King holiday weekend. Buddy cop comedy Ride Along has the best shot at breaking out, and it looks poised to earn back its budget (and then some) over the four-day frame. Paramount’s franchise launchpad Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit will also bring in sizable crowds, though animated flick The Nut Job and horror entry Devil’s Due will have a harder time. So, is this Lone Survivor‘s weekend to lose? Here’s how things might shake out during the Friday-to-Monday period:
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Box office report: 'Lone Survivor' sizzles with $38.5 million and rare A+ CinemaScore

Pete Berg’s gritty combat drama Lone Survivor accomplished its mission at the box office this weekend. The film, based on the true story of former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, grossed $38.5 million over the Friday-to-Sunday period, marking the second best January debut of all time after Cloverfield‘s $40.1 million bow in 2008. Audiences, which were 57 percent male and 57 percent 30 or older, issued Lone Survivor a rare “A+” CinemaScore grade, suggesting that Universal’s $40 million film will benefit from terrific word-of-mouth in the weeks to come.

Lone Survivor‘s success marks a major comeback for director Berg, whose last film, Battleship, opened to just $25 million against a whopping $209 million budget. Like that film, Lone also stars Friday Night Lights‘ Taylor Kitsch, though it was marketed primarily on the star power of its leading man, Mark Wahlberg. The Boston-born star has grown into a reliable box office draw, so its doubly impressive that Lone Survivor is one of his best-ever opening weekend results, trailing only 2012′s Ted, which started with $54.4 million. The film is a major win for all parties involved. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Lone Survivor' battles to top spot with $14.4 million Friday

Looks like January man Mark Wahlberg is going to score his biggest opening yet for the wintery month. The actor’s war drama Lone Survivor, based on the true story of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, earned an estimated $14.4 million Friday for a likely three-day take in the $35 million to $40 million range. With an A+ Cinemascore and drawing both male and female audiences, the Peter Berg-directed movie is destined to be the first big hit of 2014.

Another newcomer, the testosterone-fueled pic The Legend of Hercules, didn’t fare nearly as well. Starring Kellan Lutz (Twilight) as the mythical Greek hero, Hercules generated an estimated $3.08 million Friday. That should put the Renny Harlin-directed piece in third place with a weekend that may not reach the double-digits.

Rounding out the rest of the top five are Disney’s Frozen with an additional $3.1 million Friday for a likely $15 million weekend and an overall cume north of $305 million. Oscar contenders The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle are set to take over the third and fourth slots for the frame. The three-hour Wolf from director Martin Scorsese earned an estimated $2.7 million Friday for an estimated $9 million grab for the weekend. That will push its total to $72.3 million, while David O. Russell’s swinging ’70s caper Hustle nabbed an estimated $2.6 million Friday, putting its weekend also around $9 million and its total earnings at a bit over $95 million.
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'Catching Fire' tops 'Iron Man 3,' reigns over 2013 box office

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Iron Man 3 had the year’s biggest opening weekend and dominated the summer box office, but when the dust eventually settles on 2013, Catching Fire will go down as the year’s biggest smash. The second film in the Hunger Games franchise, based on Suzanne Collins’ book trilogy, inched past Marvel’s superhero movie on Jan. 9 and now holds the top spot with $409.4 million.

Combined with the original Hunger Games, which grossed $408.0 million in 2012, the Lionsgate films became the first franchise whose initial two installments each topped the $400 million barrier. In addition, Catching Fire has pulled in another $428.8 million internationally, a dramatic upgrade over the Hunger Game‘s foreign haul of $283.2 million. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Lone Survivor' set to SEAL an easy victory

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Two testosterone-fueled action pics will flex their muscles at the box office this weekend, but only one will win in this arm wrestling contest. Navy SEAL tale Lone Survivor is poised to become the year’s first breakout hit, while the Kellan Lutz vehicle The Legend of Hercules is set to become its first true bomb. Three Oscar contenders — August: Osage County, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Her — are all getting nationwide expansions as well. Here’s how the frame may play out:

1. Lone Survivor – $27 million
Mark Wahlberg has become a reliable box office draw in recent years, driving films like Contraband and 2 Guns to solid openings in the mid-$20 million range. The star’s new war film, based on the hugely popular book by former SEAL Marcus Luttrell, should have no trouble topping the box office in its first outing in wide release. Universal has played up Luttrell’s involvement in the film, showcasing it as a patriotic endeavor that re-creates the real story of the disastrous 2005 Afghanistan mission Operation Red Wings, which left only Luttrell alive.

Lone Survivor could play much like the last real-SEAL movie to storm the box office, Act of Valor, which opened with $24.5 million in 2012 en route to a $70 million total. Tracking for Lone Survivor, which cost Universal $40 million, is solid, and it should play very well in the heartland of America. Fandango reports that the Pete Berg-directed film accounts for 51 percent of all ticket sales heading into this weekend, and in over 2,700 theaters, Lone Survivor may pull in a strong $27 million — primarily from its core demographic of young men. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Frozen' freezes the latest 'Paranormal Activity' out of the top spot with $20.7 million

As much of the Northeast was trapped in a winter wonderland not unlike its snow-cursed setting, Disney’s Frozen managed to reclaim the No. 1 spot at the box office for the first time in three weekends. The animated film took in $20.7 million, which is a nearly 28 percent drop from last week’s numbers but still impressive considering it’s no longer a holiday and the film is already in its sixth weekend of wide release. It’s now inevitable that the Disney hit will cross the $300 million mark, as it’s currently sitting pretty at $297.8 million. That’s $97 million more than 2010′s Tangled –Disney’s previous CG-animated adaptation of a fairy tale with a past participle for a title—made in its entire domestic run. Meanwhile, Frozen‘s worldwide total has reached $639.9 million. READ FULL STORY

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