The Afghanistan war tale "Lone Survivor" took the No. 2 spot
with ticket sales of $12.6 million. Mark Wahlberg plays the role
of the only one of four U.S. SEALs to return from a vicious fire
fight with Taliban fighters.
The animated film "The Nut Job," featuring the voices of Will
Arnett and Katherine Heigl, was third with $12.3 million in
sales at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to studio figures
provided by Rentrak.
In a week in which the top three films mirrored last week's
results, "I, Frankenstein," an action film in which Victor
Frankenstein's creation is reimagined as a hero battling
gargoyles, was the only major new release. It opened in sixth
place with ticket sales of $8.3 million.
"Ride Along" received mostly negative reviews, with only 17
percent positive write-ups according to aggregator website
Rottentomatoes. But the movie opened far stronger than expected
a week ago with ticket sales of $41.2 million to easily surpass
Hollywood projections. The film has collected sales of just over
$75 million since its January 17 release.
Universal Pictures, the studio behind both "Ride Along" and
"Lone Survivor," said the films' one-two punch marked the first
time a single studio's films have grabbed the top two spots for
two consecutive weeks in nearly two decades. Warner Bros. last
achieved the feat in February 1994, with "On Deadly Ground" and
"I, Frankenstein," which fell short of industry forecasts of an
opening weekend between $10 million and $15 million, received
generally poor reviews, but 57 percent of the audience said they
liked it, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Based on actor Kevin Grevioux's graphic novel, it
takes place in a dark, dystopian world. Actor Aaron Eckhart plays
the title role, with not much resemblance to the monster in earlier
films based on Mary Shelley's 1818 novel. Less gruesome, he is
blessed with extraordinary speed and endurance.
Lionsgate Films acted chiefly as its distributor, with Lakeshore
Entertainment funding most of its reported $65 million production
[to top of second column]
Disney's long-running animated hit "Frozen" claimed the No. 4 spot
with $9 million. The musical is nearing $350 million in domestic
sales in its 10th week in release.
"Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit," starring Chris Pine as
the late author Tom Clancy's fictional CIA analyst, rounded out the
top five with ticket sales of $8.8 million.
The strongest finisher among major Oscar-nominated films was
"American Hustle," which took seventh place selling $7.1 million
worth of tickets for a total domestic haul of $127 million.
"Ride Along" and "Lone Survivor" were released by Universal
Pictures, a unit of Comcast. Lionsgate distributed "I,
Frankenstein." "The Nut Job" was released by Open Road Films, a
joint venture of U.S. theater chains Regal Entertainment and AMC
Theatres. Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom, released "Jack Ryan:
(Reporting by Ronald Grover and Chris
Michaud; editing by Rosalind Russell and David Gregorio)
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