By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Buddy cop comedy “Ride Along, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, cruised to a third straight weekend at the top of the box office charts, outearning new release “That Awkward Moment.”
“Ride Along” collected $12.3 million in ticket sales over what was a slow Super Bowl weekend at many domestic movie theaters. The film has collected $93 million since its Jan. 17 release.
Second place went to the long-running Disney hit, “Frozen,” which earned $9.3 million and benefited from newly added “sing-along” shows, pushing its total since opening in late November to more than $360 million, according to box office tracking firm Rentrak.
“That Awkward Moment” was third with $9 million in ticket sales at U.S. and Canadian theaters from Friday through Sunday. The film stars Zac Efron as one of three friends who pledge to stay single.
On the Super Bowl weekend, moviegoers spent about $85 million in the domestic market, which includes theaters in the United States and Canada. Last week’s box office take was $118 million, according to Rentrak.
Marketed heavily to women who might be less inclined to watch the Super Bowl, “That Awkward Moment,” which received generally lackluster reviews, fell short of the industry’s $12 million forecast. Only 22 of 99 reviewers gave it a “fresh,” or positive, rating, according to the website Rotten Tomatoes. Of moviegoers who saw the film, 58 percent said they liked it, according to the site.
Focus Features, the studio that released the low-budget $8 million film, said it was “designed as counter programming with a target audience of female movie-goers,” noting that it “scored best with our primary audience of younger females.”
“Labor Day,” the other new release this weekend, collected $5.3 million in ticket sales to open in the No. 7 slot, and fell short of industry expectations of about $8 million.
The film stars Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet in an adaption from Joyce Maynard’s novel of the same name about an escaped convict who takes refuge in the home of a depressed single mother.
Paramount Pictures, the Viacom-owned unit that distributed the film, promoted the film in conjunction with the American Pie Council. The Jan. 23 National Pie Day was promoted through posters distributed to pie shops and bakeries that showed the two stars making a pie.
Paramount said the film also skewed female, with females making up 59 percent of the audience.
Rounding out the top five, the animated film “The Nut Job” was took fourth with sales of $7.6 million, while Mark Wahlberg’s Afghanistan war film “Lone Survivor” was fifth with $7.2 million.
“The Awkward Moment” was distributed by Focus Features, a unit of Comcast’s NBC Universal. “Ride Along” and “Lone Survivor” were distributed by Universal Pictures, a unit of NBC Universal. “Labor Day” was distributed by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom.
Walt Disney distributed “Frozen.” “The Nut Job,” was distributed by Open Road Films, a joint venture of AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment.
(Reporting By Ronald Grover and Chris Michaud; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)