Box office hits and misses: Ride Along 2 dethrones Star Wars to win the weekend

weekend box office star wars ride along 2
The reign of Star Wars: The Force Awakens atop the weekend box-office rankings has ended after an epic four-week run.

Ride Along 2 earned the top spot for the three-day weekend (not counting the holiday) with a $34 million debut that — as many box-office prognosticators expected — was enough to beat the blockbuster sci-fi sequel in its fifth week of screenings. Ice Cube and Kevin Hart’s odd-couple comedy wasn’t the only film to finish ahead of Star Wars, though, as the Oscar-friendly frontier drama The Revenant also topped The Force Awakens.

While Star Wars’ drop from the top spot was expected (and almost happened a week ago), that doesn’t mean J.J. Abrams’ sequel is losing any significant steam. Currently the highest-grossing film of all time in U.S. theaters and the third highest-grossing film of all time worldwide, The Force Awakens is just $130 million short of breaking the $2 billion mark — a feat only achieved by two other movies — in just its fifth week in theaters.

For the sake of comparison, it took current all-time worldwide box-office champion Avatar a grand total of 34 weeks to earn its record-setting $2.78 billion.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. Ride Along 2 $34M $34M $42.2M
2. The Revenant $29.5M $87.7M $151.8M
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens $25.1M $856.9M $1,869.5M
4. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi $16M $16M $16M
5. Daddy’s Home $9.3M $129.3M $181.7M
6. Norm of the North $6.7M $6.7M $6.7M
7. The Forest $5.8M $21.1M $22.4M
8. The Big Short $5.2M $50.5M $69.6M
9. Sisters $4.4M $81.9M $94M
10. The Hateful Eight $3.4M $47.6M $65M

As for the weekend’s other films, Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi and the animated feature Norm of the North both debuted amid the week’s top 10 movies. The $16 million opening weekend for the politically charged 13 Hours is the lowest debut for any of Bay’s films since 2005’s The Island, and box-office experts are predicting that the film will end up being one of the director’s lowest-grossing films overall — earning around the same amount as 2013’s underperforming Pain & Gain.

The announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees last week also seemed to give some of those films a boost at the box office, with The Revenant and The Big Short both holding relatively strong at theaters, and Oscar darlings Brooklyn and Spotlight both increasing their week-to-week earnings.

On the flip side, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight continued its surprisingly disappointing run with a $3.4 million weekend that barely made it into the top 10 and dropped more than 45 percent from last week. The film is doing just fine from a critical standpoint with a 75 percent “Fresh” rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, but can’t seem to convert that critical goodwill into box-office success.

Next week’s releases include the sci-fi thriller The 5th Wave, based on a series of young-adult novels and starring Chloe Grace Moretz, as well as Robert De Niro and Zac Efron’s raunchy comedy Dirty Grandpa.


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