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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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'Rosemary's Baby'-inspired 'Devil's Due' is 'every new couple's worst nightmare,' Eli Roth says -- VIDEO

The filmmakers behind Devil’s Due will always be the first to admit that Roman Polanski’s 1968 classic Rosemary’s Baby inspired their film, a found-footage horror movie about a young newlywed who has the misfortune of being impregnated with a satanic being.

“We wanted to own it from the start. We didn’t want to pretend that it wasn’t that and hide it and make you wait. The scene where she gets impregnated is about 15 minutes into the movie,” said Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, who co-directed the film with his Radio Silence collective and V/H/S directing team Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, and Chad Villella. She might not realize what’s going on, but the audience is never left in the dark.

“It was a really fun thing to watch Rosemary’s Baby and then get to borrow things that felt right for this version,” added Gillett.
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