Weekend Box Office: ‘Ride Along 2’ Finally Knocks ‘Star Wars’ From The Top Spot

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out of the top spot for the first time since it opened December 18th. Ride Along 2, starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, took number one this week with $34 million for the weekend, with an estimated $39 million for the four-day holiday weekend. That was down from the original Ride Along‘s $41m/$48m on the same weekend two years ago, but still good enough for number one. Per The Hollywood Reporter:

The $40 million sequel did play to a more ethnically diverse audience than the original film, or beyond its core African-American audience, according to Universal. African-Americans made up 34 percent of ticket buyers, the same percentage as Hispanics, followed by Caucasians (22 percent), Asians (5 percent) and other (5 percent). Last time, African-Americans made up 50 percent. The sequel also played to more males (48 percent versus 43 percent).

They can call the “more diverse audience” thing a victory if they want, it’s still a bad sign when a sequel does worse than its predecessor. Anyway, they made two financially successful comedies, which is a win, even if it’s not “a franchise.”

Also coming in ahead of Star Wars was The Revenant, dropping only 25.9% from last weekend after its 12 Oscar nominations. This was even better than American Sniper‘s 27.6% drop last year. Of course, American Sniper made $107 million in its first weekend in wide release, while The Revenant earned a more modest $39.8 million, but still, it’s an Oscar bump. All of the Oscar movies seemed to get at least a small bump, notably The Big Short, which dropped only 15% from last weekend, despite playing in 764 fewer theaters. It earned $5.2 million for the three-day, bringing it to $50 million total, almost double its $28 million budget.

Michael Bay’s Benghazi movie, 13 Hours, not surprisingly scared off… well, anyone who didn’t want to see 1) a Benghazi movie 2) directed by Michael Bay. That would’ve sounded like a perfect storm of “nope” to me, even if the actual movie wasn’t half bad once I saw it.  It earned $16 million for the three-day, and is projected to earn $19 million for the four-day, which was slightly below Paramount’s $20 million projection. The go-to comparisons seem to be Lone Survivor ($37.8 million opening) and American Sniper ($89.3 million) which isn’t really a comparison at all. Having “Benghazi” in the title, which is almost like having “Libtard” or “tcot” in there in terms of associations, was guaranteed to turn off a lot of people, even if the movie itself wasn’t super political. Paramount also tried to market it to conservatives, which may have turned off everyone else, but it was probably a no-win situation anyway. It did make a disproportionate amount of money in traditional red states, not surprisingly.

Internationally, The Force Awakens is currently sitting at third all-time in international numbers not adjusted for inflation. It’s at $1.86 billion, behind Titanic‘s $2.18 billion and Avatar‘s $2.788b. They’re going to be hard to catch, especially considering Star Wars is slowing in China after a promising start:

One key market that could prove to be a disappointment is China, where Force Awakens has earned $95 million since opening Jan. 9. The movie was bumped off a large number of screens this weekend to make way for a Chinese film, and could ultimately top out at $150 million or less. While a good number, many analysts had predicted Force Awakens would gross north of $200 million in China. [THR]

That’s a bummer. Maybe Disney can get Lu Han to write a new song?

Next week brings us The 5th Wave, The Boy, and Dirty Grandpa. Try to contain your excitement.

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

Chart via Screencrush.