This week we see a change of the guards, which may be an ill-omen for Star Wars. Despite crossing a major milestone of earning over one billion dollars internationally, Star Wars lost its first place hold to newcomer Ride Along 2. While Star Wars has made ridiculous money, only four weeks at number 1 has to be disappointing. The other premiers this week made stronger showings than anticipated, including Michael Bay’s 13 Hours, and even the lackluster Norm of the North peeked its way into the top ten. While this sounds great, this extended MLK Jr. weekend was soft compared to past years, in fact making less money at the box than five of the last ten years.
There was little doubt that Ice Cube and Kevin Hart were going to unseat the champs. The original Ride Along made more than 40 million at the box, and even sequel slump was going to place the follow up at more than 35 million. That was always going to be more than Star Wars could hope to hold. The surprise was that Star Wars fell from first to third, losing ground to not only the newcomer, but also to last week’s #2, The Revenant. Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Oscar hopeful held very strong (no doubt buoyed by the announcements of this year’s Oscar best picture nominees.)
Rounding out the other new releases, the ripped from the headline military shooter, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi took a solid fourth place. Norm of the North, the animated “fish out of water” flick about a polar bear in NYC beat expectations to land at number six. All in all, a good showing for each, facing such stiff opposition.
Some previously dead films got some new life from the Oscar noms. The Martian made a 20% jump over the last frame, while unknowns Spotlight and Brooklyn made 70% jumps. The real winner was Room, a tight psychological drama that jumped a crazy 500% after being given the golden statue treatment. We’ll see how far the nods can lift these boats.