JACK RYAN

Sorry Paramount, you don’t have a franchise reboot on your hands. It turns out that January is a good time to release a certain kind of movie, and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit isn’t one of them. It is a good time for Ride Along, which now has the highest opening ever for a January picture.

Film Weekend Per Screen Total
1 Ride Along $41,237,000 $15,485 $41,237,000
2 Lone Survivor $23,239,000 (-38.6) $7,775 $74,049,000
3 The Nut Job $20,550,000 $5,996 $20,550,000
4 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit $17,200,000 $5,078 $17,200,000
5 Frozen $11,971,000 (-18.7)
$4,018 $332,602,000
6 American Hustle $10,600,000 (+27.7) $4,809 $116,431,000
7 Devil’s Due $8,500,000 $3,341 $8,500,000
8 August: Osage County $7,592,000 (+6.1) $3,702 $18,181,000
9 The Wolf of Wall Street $7,500,000 (-15.2) $3,886 $90,277,000
10 Saving Mr. Banks $4,147,000 (-36.7) $1,693 $75,391,000

Last weekend saw Lone Survivor exceed expectations and now with Ride Along a week later, it seems Universal has cracked how to put out a picture in the first month of the year. Seriously, those two are now the first and third biggest openings in January. And it may take a year or two for things to adjust, but we’re going to start seeing more medium budgeted genre fare do big business in this month. Perhaps it’s also because most of the Oscar titles came out before Christmas. August: Osage County is the only expansion run in the top ten, while films like American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks and The Wolf of Wall Street were hoping there would be a bump for them after the Oscar announcements. One of them got it.

And if The Nut Job was cheap, it may yet see a profit. The twenty million it made is higher than I estimated, but unless it holds strong it won’t make it past $50 Million. This is a holiday weekend, which means it could make money Monday, and have gotten a boost because of bored parents, but we’ll see.

Jack Ryan is dead as a franchise for now. Kenneth Branagh would take a hit if he wasn’t already on to the next one, so this is just about the fourth or fifth picture that suggests America hasn’t accepted Chris Pine as a movie star. Perhaps he isn’t. He’s just a good Jim Kirk. This seemed obvious at the press conference when he was sitting next to Kevin Costner. Many of the questions went to Costner. This is also how you do a January release wrong. Audiences could smell that the film (as a franchise picture) needed to have some confidence around it. But then again the movie’s not that good, so it all worked out. Devil’s Due is dead. Fox had a nice moment for the film with the viral video nonsense, but it doesn’t feel like they pushed it that hard otherwise, and with the tepid response to Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, that audience isn’t pumped for what’s being offered.

Reality Check: I was not expecting this weekend to be so ripe, as I usually predict conservatively. Often I think films like Ride Along have a good chance of being big (and I thought it would win the weekend), but I didn’t expect it to do so with so much force, even if Kevin Hart is the man right now. Such is this game.

What did you watch this weekend?