By Leonard Klady

The Weekend Report

Buddy comedy Ride Along breezed into the top slot on the Martin Luther King holiday session with an estimated $41.2 million debut (all figures reflect 3-day portion of the weekend. Three other films made national bows with the family animated The Nut Job displaying unexpected strength of $20.5 million and the rebooted Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit opening below expectations with $16.9 million. Chiller Devil’s Due was further down the list with a spooky $8.5 million.

While there was scant activity among incoming niche and specialized newcomers the marketplace saw considerable jockeying among titles positioning to maximize on last week’s Oscar announcements.

Overall revenues presently are eyeing roughly $225 million that are close to a record level for this holiday frame. Regardless, Ride Along now ranks as the biggest opening for MLK weekend. Box office spiked 31% from the immediate prior weekend and 37% from the 2013 edition. Last year the debut of Mama led with $28.3 million with Oscar hopeful Zero Dark Thirty in the bridesmaid slot with $16.8 million.

Ride Along was the anticipated session leader with Jack Ryan expected to be nipping on its heels. The pairing of Ice Cube and Kevin Hart provided a mix of action and comedy and mismatched coupling that’s been mined by the likes of 48 Hrs.Rush Hour and many others. Somewhat surprising was that the film skewed 57% female according to studio exit polling. It was also comprised 54% of folk 25-years old and 50% African American.

Family-targeted The Nut Job was expected to bow to roughly $12 million and its considerably more potent liftoff generated head-scratching from industry pundits. Obviously, the marketplace can sustain an alternative option to Frozen.

And then there’s Jack. The fifth incarnation of Tom Clancy’s intrepid operative Ryan after a 12-year hiatus was envisioned as a re-invigoration akin to the refurbished Star Trek. In a marketplace where timing is critical, Shadow Recruit wound up second choice to the likes of Ride Along and Lone Survivor. The opening weekend crowd skewed 52% female and a whopping 85% aged 25-years old and more senior.

In anticipation of Oscar glory, everything from hibernating titles to movies poised to break out of constricting niches were back in action. However, with so many new titles in the marketplace such films as American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street lost playdates (though not necessarily strength). Gravity and 12 Years a Slave got a second wind while Captain Phillips and Inside Llewyn Davis suffered from limited Academy recognition. August: Osage County is doing its best with two acting nominations, and Dallas Buyers Club and Nebraska received nice box office boosts, despite the latter losing screens to incoming product.


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One Response to “The Weekend Report”

  1. movieman says:

    Heading into the Christmas season, I don’t think even Sony execs dreamed that “American Hustle” would outgross “Anchorman 2.”

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4