January 17, 2016
‘Ride Along 2’ Dethrones ‘Star Wars’ At The Box Office

The Ice Cube/Kevin Hart-starring buddy comedy, Ride Along 2, has dethroned the mega hit, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which had spent four weeks as the box office champion and broke numerous records during that time.

While Ride Along 2 may have defeated Star Wars, there was one film that it could not surpass during its opening weekend: the first Ride Along. According to Box Office Mojo, Ride Along 2 brought in $34 million to make it the new box office king, but that's short of the first film's $41.5 million opening weekend haul. The comedy sequel could see a little bit of a boost with the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Analysts are predicting that, once the four-day weekend is over, Ride Along 2 will have brought in around $39 million. The first film was able to bring in $48 million over the same weekend back in 2014, and ended up grossing $134.9 million during its run.

Ride Along Beats Star Wars
Kevin Hart, Ken Jeong, and Ice Cube in Universal Pictures' 'Ride Along 2.' [Image via YouTube screencap]The sequel also does not seem to be settling as well with critics and audiences as the first movie. Box Office Mojo reports that the first Ride Along film had an A-grade Cinemascore rating, while the second has a B+. And while the first had a score of 18 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the second film appears to be doing worse with critics, as it has just a 14 percent approval rating. But, at the same time, fewer critics have their reviews for Ride Along 2 featured on the site.

Despite Ride Along 2 coming up short on just about everything that its predecessor achieved, there is one area in which it surpassed the first film. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the sequel fared better than the first film with special Thursday night showings, bringing in $1.26 million compared to the first's $1.06 million.

There were two other films opening against Ride Along 2 this weekend, but neither of them could even come close to topping it. Michael Bay's 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi came in fourth with $16 million, and Lionsgate's animated feature, Norm of the North, opened in sixth place with just $6.6 million.

Ride Along 2 Opens
Ice Cube and Kevin Hart in Universal Pictures' 'Ride Along 2' [Image via Slant Magazine]After spending four weekends atop the box office, and becoming the highest-grossing film in the U.S. during that time, Star Wars: The Force Awakens dropped to third place with $25.1 million. This was also the first weekend in which the hit sci-fi sequel saw its screen count decrease. After opening on 4,134 screens across the nation, the film lost 312 over the weekend, to bring its total count to 3,822.

Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Rentrak, told USA Today that Star Wars' loss of the box office crown to Ride Along 2 should not come as a big surprise to anyone.

"It's inevitable — no movie can stay number one forever. There are no tears being shed over at Disney. They rewrote the record books with Star Wars."
The Force Awakens has brought in $856 million domestically, and is looking to bring its worldwide total to $1.9 billion by the end of the holiday weekend. There's no question that the film will cross the $2 billion mark, but there is curiosity as to how close it will get to topping the James Cameron-directed epics, Titanic and Avatar, which have respective totals of $2.2 billion and $2.8 billion. Dergarabedian said it will take some time before people actually see how close it will get to Cameron's films.
"Where it ends up in that very rarefied air remains to be seen. The most impressive thing is the speed at which it's broken these records."
In other box office news, the Oscar-nominated The Revenant remained in the No. 2 spot for its second weekend of wide release, bringing in $29.5 million. The Mark Wahlberg/Will Ferrell comedy, Daddy's Home, came in fifth with $9.3 million.

Are you surprised that Ride Along 2 was the film to take down the reigning champion, Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

[Image via Universal Pictures/YouTube]