Ride Along 2 took first place on the Friday of MLK weekend, but strong performance from The Revenant shows potential to jump on Saturday and take first place over the weekend. Meanwhile, 13 Hours fell below expectations and Norm of the North was a blip on the radar.
Ride Along 2 took in an estimated $12M on its opening day. In comparison, the original Ride Along2 took in $14.4M on its opening day. That’s a drop of around 17%, which honestly isn’t bad for a comedy. Considering it’s likely to be a bit more front loaded, Ride Along 2 will likely wind up with around $40M for the holiday weekend. Considering the original Ride Along wasn’t exactly a masterpiece, this is a pretty solid result. It would’ve been easy for audiences to simply ignore what was marketed as more or less the same film as the original, especially considering that Kevin Hart’s marketability has dropped since 2014. Ride Along was fresh off of Hart’s Let Me Explain, which crushed expectations and grossed a phenomenal $32M from around 800 theaters. That’s an unprecedented result for a stand up comedy film, and shows that Hart did have a very large and loyal fanbase. However, after a few duds like About Last Night and The Wedding Ringer, they were less likely to show up for every big screen outing. All things considered, this is still a decent enough debut.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi may have aimed to find similar success to Lone Survivor and American Sniper, but unfortunately it failed to find a similar audience. Lone Survivor opened to $14.4M back in 2014 (the same as Ride Along, coincidentally enough) and American Sniper took in a whopping $30.3M. However, 13 Hours was marketed more as a straightforward action film rather than a controversey and politically fueled drama. As a result, it failed to find the same mainstream audience as either of those two films. With this opening day, it will likely only wind up with around $17M-$18M for the four day weekend, which is a very disappointing result.
In second place, The Revenant dipped a light 35% to a fantastic $9.3M on its second Friday of wide release. It will likely end up with around $27M for the three day weekend, and over $30M for the four day. That’s a great result that was likely fueled by the films limited IMAX release and a slew of Oscar nominations. With this result, it seems like The Revenant is a lock for over $120M, and could continue to do great business during awards season. There’s no legitimate competition for adult audiences until Hail, Caesar! on February 5th. From here, it seems like The Revenant could even top $150M if it plays similarly to Gone Girl (which, so far, it has). That would be an excellent result for the very well reviewed R rated western, which right now seems to be fully living up to its potential.
In third place, Star Wars: The Force Awakens fell 41% to $6.3M. It will likely end up with around $20M for the four day weekend, which would be enough to top the adjusted domestic gross of Avatar. That’s a very impressive result, and the film continues its tread to $900M.
Norm of the North was one of the cheapest major animated films in years, and its opening reflected that. The film took in just $1.5M from over 2,400 theaters. That gives it an atrocious per theater average of just $655. The 3% on Rotten Tomatoes probably didn’t help, as did the lack of marketing and horrendously cheap animation quality. It offered nothing other than “here’s a kids movie of talking animals”. That strategy worked for The Nut Job, which managed to take in a solid $25.7M over the four day weekend last year. Norm of the North will be lucky to make more than $6M-$7M over the four day weekend, which was lower than already low expectations. It also received a B- Cinemascore, which is terrible for an animated children’s film. It was clear that this was a direct-to-DVD film which was given a nationwide release at the last minute, and this result is a sign that audiences weren’t willing to pay for a film that looked like a college students test-animation project.
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