Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Ride Along 2’ Dethrones ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens wasn’t going to reign atop the box office forever. Something was going to take it down sooner or later and we’ll just be honest — we expected it would take a little longer than this. At the same time, anyone who thought that Ride Along 2 wouldn’t perform well has a short-term or poor memory, as the first film was a gigantic hit this time last year. An Ice Cube and Kevin Hart buddy cop comedy dethroned the biggest movie in the history of the U.S. box office from the top of the charts and it’s not that surprising.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Ride Along 2 $34,040,000 $10,721 $34,040,000
2 The Revenant $29,500,000 (-26.9) $8,289 $87,674,769
3 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $25,120,000 (-40.7) $6,572 $851,052,841
4 13 Hours $16,000,000 $6,697 $16,000,000
5 Daddy’s Home $9,300,000 (-38.1)
$2,800 $129,256,102
6 Norm of the North $6,675,000 $2,769 $6,675,000
7 The Forest $5,792,000 (-54.5) $2,308 $21,125,634
8 The Big Short $5,200,000 (-15.8) $2,964 $50,520,882
9 Sisters $4,420,000 (-38.5) $1,911 $82,853,630
10 The Hateful Eight $3,447,000 (-46.2) $1,445 $47,595,491

 

What is surprising is the actual size of Ride Along 2’s opening weekend. That $34 million opening is totally respectable (with a budget of $40 million it should be profitable soon enough), but it’s a bit lower than the $41 million opening of the first film. That isn’t a scary difference, but it’s significant enough to note. Normally, sequels open larger than their predecessors whether they end up taking a dive in the second and third weekend or not. The first film went on to gross $134 million and we probably shouldn’t expect that much from part two. Still, it should still be a significant hit, even if it doesn’t instantly guarantee a Ride Along 3 next year.

Meanwhile, Star Wars: The Force Awakens fell to third place with a $25 million weekend and a $851 million haul at the domestic box office. That’s still pretty darn good for a fifth weekend, especially since the film just passed $1 billion at the international box office. Those international Avatar numbers still look awfully far away, but it’s hard to argue with this success.

And that brings us back to the number two slot and The Revenant, which dropped a small 26 percent and rode those 12 Oscar nominations to box office glory. That strong opening weekend was based on star power and hype — this weekend showcases that the film itself is a real juggernaut. With $29 million over the weekend for an $87 million total, this thing is a bonafide hit, which is surely going to help its award chances next month.

A few other films also benefited from those Oscar nominations. In the eight slot, The Big Short dropped only 15 percent, grossing $5 million for a $50 million total. Those are incredible numbers for a movie that is literally about finances and that supposedly only cost $28 million. Outside of the top 10, Brooklyn, Joy, and Spotlight all saw small but strong jumps.

That brings us to the fourth slot and 13 Hours, Michael Bay’s Benghazi thriller that everyone assumed would pull an American Sniper and effortlessly win this weekend. That $16 million certainly didn’t light the world on fire and we’re as surprised as anyone. The crowds who made Lone Survivor and Act of Valor hits at the box office simply didn’t show up for this one. At the same time, 13 Hours only cost $50 million to make and Bay already has the next Transformers movie lined up. No one is devastated by this.

As for everyone else…

Daddy’s Home continued its slow and steady rise as one of Will Ferrell’s biggest hits, grossing $9 million for a $29 million total. Sisters followed suit, quietly breaking $82 million. Norm of the North rode a lackluster marketing campaign to a dismal $6 million opening. The Forest took the expected plunge that every horror movie encounters in its second weekend, but with $21 million grossed on a $10 million budget, it’s feeling okay. And finally, The Hateful Eight looks ready to exit the top 10 just shy of $50 million, making it one of Quentin Tarantino’s rare box office disappointments.

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