by Matt Marshall
Four new releases are set to debut to the busy Martin Luther King Jr. frame. Cop comedy Ride Along, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, is the most likely newcomer to take the top slot over the extended weekend.
Opening in 2662 theaters this Friday, Ride Along breaks onto the box office scene as the first comedy of 2014. In Ride Along, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart go on patrol in what’s been labeled a comedic Training Day. Neither Ice Cube and Kevin Hart have had powerhouse success at the box office. However, between the dramatic Oscar films and several horrors, mainstream audiences could use a comedy in the mix. Expect Ride Along to open above $25 million – a near-career high for both actors.
After a 12-year hiatus, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is back on the big screen in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Chris Pine (Star Trek Into Darkness) is the fourth actor to portray the future CIA analyst. Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck have played the role previously.
Shadow Recruit turns the clocks back on Ryan in this reboot and is not a direct adaptation of Clancy’s novels. Except for 1992’s Patriot Games, every Jack Ryan film has crossed $100 million domestically. Shadow Recruit has garnered generally positive reviews, but a crowded January opening could result in a weaker start. Jack Ryan may see $15 million over the weekend.
With Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones losing its theater count, supernatural thriller Devil’s Due frightens its way onto the loaded scene. Only three weeks into the new year, Devil’s Due is already the second found footage film of 2014. In Devil’s Due, a couple document the pregnancy and birth of their newborn child. However, there’s something evil at the root of what’s supposed to be joyous time. Coming out in 2,543 theaters, Devil Due could birth a $7 million opening.
Several Academy Award nominees are also returning to theaters after Thursday’s announcement. Gravity, which was nominated for 10 Oscars, is back in nearly 1000 theaters. An IMAX re-release is set for January 31. Best Picture nominees, 12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips and Dallas Buyers Club are each returning to between 750-1,000 theaters this weekend. Last weekend, Best Picture nominee Her rose to 11th place with its expansion for an additional $5.3 milllion. None of these films are expected to crack the Top 5.
Box Office Projections
1. Ride Along (Universal) – $25.3. million (NR)
2. Lone Survivor (Universal) – $21.1 million (1)
3. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Paramount) – $15.2 million (NR)
4. The Nut Job (Open Road) – $11.2 million (NR)
5. Frozen (Buena Vista) – $9.7 million (2)
NOTE: The projections are based on the standard 3-day weekend, not the 4-day holiday frame.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Matt Marshall is a YouTube movie reviewer who hosts MNMreviews. He has a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College and resides in Rochester, NY.