‘Lone Survivor’ Can’t Take Down ‘Ride Along’ At The Friday Box Office

Lone Survivor couldn’t dethrone Kevin Hart’s Ride Along at the box office on Friday.

Mark Wahlberg’s real-life thriller about the failed attempt to capture or assassinate a notorious Taliban leader snagged approximately $3.6 million from moviegoers. While these numbers are definitely impressive — especially for a movie released in January — it wasn’t enough cash for Lone Survivor to claim the top spot.

According to the estimates at Box Office Mojo, Ride Along managed to snag around $6.3 million on Friday. Some industry analysts believe the movie could bring home $20 million over the weekend, a number that would push its domestic total close to $80 million.

Lone Survivor has already crossed that threshold; the movie has $84 million in the bank as of this writing. Once the weekend is up, that number could creep dangerously close to $100 million. All of this is going business is happening without the help of an overseas release.

Lone Survivor and Ride Along proved that, with the right movie, January releases can make a very tidy sum of money. The first few months of the year are generally reserved as a dumping ground for troubled motion pictures. However, both movies are presently giving some summer blockbusters a run for their money.

One flick that turned January on its cinematic head was the Kevin James comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop. The movie made a very impressive $48 million during its first eight days of release back in 2009. With some assistance from foreign markets, the comedy made a whopping $183 million during its theatrical run.

Although Paul Blart and Ride Along made tons of cash thanks to the comedic power of their respective stars, Lone Survivor has the added benefit of very strong reviews. The thriller currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 74 percent, a rarity in the Mark Wahlberg’s big screen universe. No offense intended, of course.

“Berg has made a powerful film and an important reminder of what really happens when we send men and women off to war. It’s just too bad that subtlety isn’t a stronger weapon in his arsenal,” Entertainment Weekly writer Chris Nashawaty explained.

NPR critic Ella Taylor added, “Berg is relentlessly unsparing — in ‘Lone Survivor,’ we discover what it is like to topple downhill from rock to rock, and what it is like to reach for your gun and find that your hand is missing – but never Tarantino-sadistic.”

Lone Survivor is in theaters across the country now. Are you planning to catch the flick at your local multiplex over the weekend?