January 15, 2016
'Ride Along 2': Ice Cube, Kevin Hart Movie Could Debut With $40+ Million On Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend

Ice Cube and comedian Kevin Hart have returned for a sequel to their January 2014 success Ride Along. Ride Along 2 opens today, and it looks as if it is going to take the top spot away from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, according to the Hollywood Reporter. This would make it number one yet again during the Martin Luther King holiday, just as the first Ride Along was in 2014. The first Ice Cube, Kevin Hart comedy opened to $1.06 million on Thursday night, and managed to bring in $48.6 million over the same four-day holiday weekend.

Ride Along 2 raked in $1.26 million at 2,381 U.S. theaters in Thursday night showings, which is 19 percent better than how the first film performed on Thursday night. In comparison, Michael Bay's 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi made a respectable $900,000 in 1,995 locations.

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart sat down with Star Tribune's Colin Covert and talked about how this sequel is going to outdo the original for audiences.

"I think you make a movie that can stand on its own," Cube said. "I think that's the thing is to be conscious not to borrow jokes and moments from the first one. maybe one or two little things, but that's it. You gotta be committed to making a whole other movie, just like the first one don't exist. And make it good enough for people to come and see, that's been kind of my formula on all the sequels that I've been apart of producing."

"You want to go bigger and better," Hart added.

Ride Along 2 could very well perform bigger and better at the box office, since most of the forecasts suggest that the comedy will win the weekend. J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens has been resting high on the top of the box office charts for four consecutive weekends now and the film is expected to bring in nearly $20 million over this MLK holiday. Domestically, the science-fiction space opera is already the highest-grossing film of all time, earning an impressive $822 million in only 27 days. The Revenant, Golden Globe winner for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor, almost came in number one last weekend but barely missed it.

Bay's 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, starring John Krasinski, is suggested to open with a $20 million debut this MLK weekend, at approximately 2,400 locations.

Kevin Hart continued by saying, "You need moments. You need moments that people can really, really look at and not just laugh at and be entertained, but track. Your story has to be solid enough to where you believe the journey of the characters that you're asking people to follow exist. And in this particular case with James and Ben, you believe it. You believe Ben's journey, it's very believable to see a guy that wants to become a detective and wants the fast life of a detective."

In Ride Along, Kevin Hart plays Ben Barber, a security guard who proposes to Angela, the sister of James Payton, Ice Cube's character, who is a cop. Before James will approve of Ben marrying his sister, Ben rides along with James on a 24-hour patrol of the city of Atlanta. In Ride Along 2, Ben and Angela are engaged and the wedding day is steadily approaching, picking up about a year after the events of the first film. Ben decides to go to Miami with James, his future brother-in-law, who reluctantly agrees to let him come. James has been on a lead connected to a drug-ring case that he has been trying to get to the bottom of, and while in Miami they run into Maya, played by Olivia Munn, a homicide detective who claims Miami as her turf. Working together, they will have to bring down the brutal crime boss.

[Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM]