Weekend Report: 'Ride Along' Runs Over 'I, Frankenstein'

by Ray Subers
Ride Along

January 26, 2014

With its bizarre, poorly-explained premise and derivative fantasy action, I, Frankenstein was dead on arrival this weekend. As a result, Ice Cube/Kevin Hart comedy hit Ride Along easily cruised to a second consecutive victory.

After setting a new January opening record last weekend, Ride Along fell 49 percent to $21.3 million. Through 10 days, the buddy comedy has banked $75.5 million, and it's on pace to reach $100 million in the next two weeks. Don't be surprised if Ride Along 2 gets formally announced soon.

In its third weekend, Lone Survivor dropped 42 percent to $12.9 million. The Afghanistan war drama has now earned $93.9 million, and is on pace to pass Zero Dark Thirty ($95.7 million) sometime this week.

Universal Pictures has now held the top two spots for two weekends in a row. According to the studio, that's the first time a distributor has accomplished this feat since Warner Bros. did so in February 1994 with On Deadly Ground and Ace Venture: Pet Detective. Universal is also the top studio so far this year with over $170 million.

In third place, The Nut Job eased 38 percent to $12.1 million. That's a solid hold for an animated movie, though it is a bit worse than November's Free Birds (30 percent). To date, The Nut Job has taken in $40.1 million.

moved up a spot to fourth place this weekend; the animated blockbuster's $9.1 million haul ranks sixth all-time among ninth weekends. In the process, Frozen topped Finding Nemo to become the highest-grossing original animated movie ever (excluding re-release grosses) with nearly $348 million. With a sing-along version reaching theaters next weekend, Frozen should have no problem passing Despicable Me 2 ($368.1 million) by mid-February.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
rounded out the Top Five this weekend with $9.1 million, which is off 41 percent from opening weekend. So far, the movie has earned $30.5 million, which is less than The Sum of All Fears brought in on its first weekend over a decade ago.

Opening at 2,753 locations, I, Frankenstein bombed with just $8.6 million. That's less than half of last year's Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, and is a far cry from the $20-million-plus debut for each of the four Underworld movies. To make matters worse, it even opened lower than The Legend of Hercules, which had a more modest marketing effort and still managed to eke out $8.9 million.

Plenty of bad movies do decent business each year—that's because studio marketing departments spend plenty of money pulling out the best parts of these duds and piecing together marketing material that makes them look mildly appealing. Unfortunately, I, Frankenstein is the rare case where there doesn't seem to have been enough to even produce a coherent two-and-a-half minute trailer. Audiences figured this one out and for the most part stayed far, far away.

Those that did give I, Frankenstein a look tended to be older (60 percent over 25) and male (62 percent). Roughly 60 percent of ticket sales were from 3D showings, which is unusually high. The movie received a middling "B" CinemaScore; combined with its terrible 5 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, expect this to fall off quickly in the coming weeks. A final total below $20 million is likely.

Dallas Buyers Club
expanded to 1,110 locations—its widest release yet—and earned $2.03 million. To date, the Oscar-nominated drama has earned $20.4 million.

After two months in limited release, Alexander Payne's Nebraska finally expanded nationwide this weekend. Playing at 968 theaters, the Oscar nominee earned $1.55 million. Unless something drastic happens, Nebraska now seems poised to be the lowest-grossing Best Picture nominee from 2013.

Around-the-World Roundup

Not to sound like a broken record, but Frozen had another strong weekend at the overseas box office. The movie added $20.2 million for a new total of $462.5 million. In South Korea, it was up 20 percent from its opening, and it's already the highest-grossing Disney/Pixar release ever there with $22.6 million.

Its worldwide tally has now passed $810 million. If it lives up to its potential in China (Feb. 5th) and Japan (March 15th), it should ultimately reach $1 billion.

Across the markets being handled by Universal Pictures, The Wolf of Wall Street added $16.6 million this weekend. The Leonardo DiCaprio/Martin Scorsese flick repeated in first place in Germany ($5.7 million), the U.K. ($5.5 million) and Spain ($3.2 million). It most-likely passed $100 million overseas this weekend, though final results won't be available until later this week.

Domestic disappointment Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is playing a bit better overseas so far: in its second outing, the spy thriller earned $14.3 million for an early total of $46.5 million. It added $5.5 million in China ($20.9 million total) and opened to a decent $2.1 million in the U.K. Next weekend, it expands in to France and Spain.

Oscar nominee 12 Years a Slave has quietly begun a strong foreign run. It added $8.3 million this weekend, and has already earned $35 million total (and still has many markets on the way). It opened in first place in France with $2.3 million.

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'I, Frankenstein' to Trail 'Ride Along'

Last Weekend
'Ride Along' Cruises to January Record

This Weekend in Past Years:
• 2013 - 'Hansel' Slays 'Parker,' 'Movie 43'

• 2012 - 'The Grey' Leads the Pack
• 2011 - 'Rite' Possesses Top Spot
• 2010 - 'Avatar' Unfazed in Seventh Outing
• 2009 - 'Paul Blart' Clamps Down 'Rise of the Lycans'
• 2007 - 'Epic,' 'Aces' Smoke Oscar
• 2006 - 'Big Momma' Jams, 'Nanny McPhee' Floats, 'Bubble' Bursts
• 2005 - 'Hide and Seek' Comes Out on Top

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New MPAA Ratings Added
DAILY: Monday, 9/16 (39 tracked)
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'It: Chapter 2' #1
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