Meanwhile Michael Bay's 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi performed just slightly under expectations while Lionsgate's animated pick-up Norm of the North exceeded our most pessimistic of expectations. A selection of this past Thursday's Oscar nominees also added a few theaters, delivering results worth taking a look at.
Starting at the top, 2014's Ride Along debuted with a whopping $41.5 million over the three-day weekend and $48.6 million for what was a four-day, Martin Luther King weekend record. The action/comedy sequel, which sees stars Kevin Hart and Ice Cube return, fell a bit short of the original with an estimated $34 million and what will likely end up being a $39 million four-day weekend. While this falls short of the first film, it's still enough to challenge for a spot as one of the the top five all-time Martin Luther King weekend openings. It will need to put in a little work over the coming weekends, however, if it's to top $100 million domestically as word of mouth might not be as strong for this one considering its "B+" CinemaScore compared to the first film's "A".
As was pointed out in the weekend preview, there are examples on both sides of the comedy sequel trend to support a big drop as well as big gains when compared to the opening weekend of their predecessors. As it turns out, Ride Along 2 joins the likes of Think Like a Man Too, Horrible Bosses 2, Anchorman 2 and Ted 2 by falling short of the first film's opening as well as our weekend predictions.
Coming in second is The Revenant, which lead the 2015 Oscar nominations with twelve and follows up its excellent wide release last weekend with an estimated $29.5 million this weekend. That's a mere 25.9% drop, which is actually better than American Sniper's impressive, 27.6% second weekend drop last year. Fox is predicting $35 million for the four-day holiday weekend, enough to become one of the all-time top ten Martin Luther King weekends. Add to that, the film brought in another $31.5 million internationally, bringing its worldwide cume to over $151 million.
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Falling from the weekend top spot for the first time since its December 18 release, Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought in an estimated $25.1 million for the three-day weekend and is looking at $31 million for the four-day as its domestic cume has now grown to $856.9 million. Meanwhile, it has become the fifth highest grossing release internationally and only the fifth film to bring in over $1 billion from overseas territories. It's international cume has now grown to $1.012 billion, resulting in over $1.8 billion worldwide. It currently sits only $4.1 million shy of Jurassic World's overseas gross and will soon top Furious 7's $1.16 billion for third place on the list.
Landing in fourth position is another one of the weekend's new wide releases, Michael Bay's 13 Hours, which tallied an estimated $16 million for the three-day weekend with Paramount estimating $19 million for the four-day. This is Bay's first film to gross less than $20 million in its first three days since The Island back in 2005. Budgeted at $50 million, it should push to end up grossing somewhere right around $45-50 million for its domestic run, perhaps lower than the $49.8 million Pain and Gain brought in back in 2013.
Lionsgate's Norm of the North managed to perform a little better than expectations, which has to be a welcome result for the studio, which is on the hook only for the cost of distribution rights and it's limited marketing spend. The film ended up grossing an estimated $6.6 million over the three-day and is estimated to finish around $8.8 million for the four-day weekend.
Looking over the list of Oscar nominees, The Big Short had the best hold in the top ten, dropping 15.8% this weekend, despite shedding 764 theaters. Playing in 1,765 theaters the five-time Oscar nominated film finished in eighth position with an estimated $5.2 million over the three-day weekend.
Brooklyn added 393 theaters and brought in $1.66 million for a 57.3% bump compared to last weekend. Right behind it was fellow Best Picture nominee, Spotlight, which expanded its reach by 617 theaters, playing in just shy of one thousand overall cinemas and bringing in an estimated $1.5 million. Additionally, A24's Room brought in an estimated $700,000 from 293 theaters for a 504% bump, the weekend's largest increase.
Paramount's animated Oscar nominee, Charlie Kaufman's stop-motion animated feature Anomalisa added 20 theaters and is now playing in 37 theaters across the country where it grossed an estimated $290,000.
The weekend's per theater winner was Sony Classics' The Lady in the Van, which had a two theater Academy run in December, but is now considered officially released, pulling in an estimated $72,264 from four theaters for a $18,066 per theater average.
Next weekend sees the release of Sony's sci-fi thriller The 5th Wave, which actually opened in some international territories this weekend and pulled in $8.2 million from over 1,900 screens. Additionally, the PG-13 horror The Boy from STX will hit theaters next weekend along with the Robert De Niro and Zac Efron comedy Dirty Grandpa, all of which will be playing in around 2,600-2,800 theaters.
You can check out the three-day estimated results from this weekend right here and we'll be back tomorrow with a full list of estimated results for the four-day weekend.
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