Super Bowl Wins Box Office Weekend
By John Hamann
February 2, 2014
A risk-adverse Hollywood is on full display this weekend, as studios trot out already dead Oscar losers (Labor Day), and fledgling comedies no one will remember in a month (That Awkward Moment). The winners of the weekend are repeats, as Ride Along finishes number one for the third straight weekend and Frozen rises again.
Yes, Ice Cube, Kevin Hart and Ride Along proved to be the number one film in North America for the third straight frame, as the Universal buddy comedy continues to… well... ride along. Ride Along finished the weekend with a score of $12.3 million, which is certainly not spectacular, but the three-peat will keep the film a discussion point in the press. It fell a rather large 42% in weekend three as the Super Bowl plays a factor, but the gross this weekend pushes it further towards $100 million. It will see that amount by the end of next weekend - its domestic gross already sits at $93 million.
Ride Along’s three-peat is much like that of Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller’s war comedy that also featured Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black. Tropic Thunder earned $11.5 million to take the number one spot in weekend three, only winning by default when Vin Diesel’s Babylon A.D. flopped. I remember Tropic Thunder for the three-peat, but it should be remembered that the film that took down The Dark Knight’s run of four consecutive weekends at number one. Had better films been released, Thunder would not be remembered, much like Ride Along. Still, this $25 million Universal release has now earned almost four times its budget stateside, and matched with Lone Survivor, this weekend ends an extremely successful January for the studio.
The big surprise is that Frozen has finished in second place, with Disney going outside the box this weekend to keep their constant revenue generator going. Now in its tenth weekend of wide release, Disney released a "singalong" version of Frozen and the experiment appears to have worked. Frozen earned another $9.3 million and was up compared to last weekend by 2%. At this point in its run ($360 million and counting), it should be hemorrhaging screens (still on 2,754 screens) and audiences, but with the innovation of the singalong, Frozen gains new life again. Holding next weekend could be tough, but if Disney can position this one for Valentine’s Day, it could end up with $390 million.
The Frozen phenomenon continues, as this is the fourth highest gross for a film in its 10th weekend, behind Slumdog Millionaire’s $12 million, and ahead of E.T.’s $8.4 million. Considering the fact that we are talking about one of the leggiest movies of 1980s and an Oscar winner that came up from the ashes, the animated picture is in some pretty powerful company. Frozen crossed the $350 million mark on Wednesday, becoming one of only 27 films ever to reach that mark domestically. It has also crossed the $500 million mark overseas, with Disney handling the release in all territories except a handful.