After four weeks of record-demolishing domination, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will lose its grip on first place at the box office. In fact, with the opening of Ride Along 2 and added playdates for The Revenant, Star Wars 7 will end its fifth frame at number three. This was not entirely unexpected, especially considering that The Force lost 312 locations on Friday. The movie earned an estimated $6.3 million on Friday towards an expected $27 million fifth weekend or $35 million for the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. If realized, that would push The Force Awakens’ North American total up to $860 million – $100 million higher than the final gross of Avatar.
First place honors this weekend will go to Ride Along 2, sequel to the 2014 action comedy starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. Two years ago, the original Ride Along set a new record for the MLK holiday with its $41.5 million debut. Of course, that record was obliterated one year later when American Sniper claimed a stunning $89.2 million in its first wide frame. Ride Along 2, which was expected to outperform its predecessor and claim the second-highest MLK opening of all time, earned an estimated $12 million on Friday. That indicates an opening weekend toward the lower end of pre-release projections. The sequel is now expected to earn $34 million this weekend and $40 million for the four-day holiday.
In second place on Friday is The Revenant, with an estimated $9.3 million from 3,559 locations (an increase of 184 from the film’s nationwide expansion last weekend). The survival drama from director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu is having an incredible week, including its $39.8 million opening last weekend, a Golden Globes win for Leonardo DiCaprio, and ten Academy Awards nominations. With all this momentum behind it, The Revenant should top $31 million this weekend and get close to $37 million through the four-day holiday.
The second of this weekend’s three new releases is 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Directed by Michael Bay, and based on the 2012 attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya, 13 Hours took fourth place on Friday with an estimated $5.9 million from 2,389 locations. That should mean a weekend opening in the $16 million range, or a four-day gross of $19 million, which falls in line with pre-release expectations for 13 Hours. Those numbers are also roughly equivalent to what Zero Dark Thirty earned over MLK weekend in 2013. Of course, over the holiday three years ago Zero Dark Thirty was entering its second wide frame and had awards season buzz and strong reviews behind it – both conspicuously absent in the case of 13 Hours.
This weekend’s final new release, Norm of the North, opened in seventh place on Friday with an estimated $1.58 million from 2,411 locations. The animated film, distributed by Lionsgate, will outperform its very modest expectations, though it still won’t reach $10 million through the four-day MLK frame. We’ll have complete box office details tomorrow.
|1.||Ride Along 2||$12,000,000||$12|
|3.||Star Wars: The Force Awakens||$6,305,000||$832.2|