Hollywood Reporter- Universal dominated the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday frame with both Kevin Hart and Ice Cube’s record-breaking comedy Ride Along and Peter Berg’s holdover Lone Survivor. Ride Along, fueled by younger moviegoers, took in $48.1 million for the four-day weekend — the best opening of all time for the MLK frame, beating 2008’s Cloverfield ($46.1 million). The movie, from director Tim Story, also scored the top three-day opening for the month of January ($41.6 million) and one of the best debuts ever for an African-American comedy, according to Universal. Costing a modest $25 million to make and nabbing an A CinemaScore, Ride Along cements Hart’s star status and marks his first turn as a comedy lead. African-Americans made up 50 percent of ticket buyers, followed by Hispanics (30 percent) and Caucasians (12 percent). Moviegoers under the age of 25 made up 46 percent of the audience.
Before I start this I want to say that I am a huge Kevin Hart fan. I’ve almost pissed my pants laughing at his specials even though the last one (Let Me Explain) had too much hype and it will probably be funnier when I rewatch it in a few months. Also, Ice Cube is surprisingly watchable in most of his movies. He was a great addition in 21 Jump Street and I would be lying if I said I hadn’t seen those Barbershop movies 1000 times on TV. So I’m sure this movie is really funny and will be a great comedy, but this early success is ALL due to the execs at Universal. You release kids movies around holidays when they have school off, you release a comedy starring two black guys around MLK Day. And I don’t mean that to be racist at all, it is what it is. If The Hangover 5 or whatever came out the same weekend it would’ve TANKED. I don’t care if Jon Hamm showed his actual dick on screen, it wasn’t beating Kevin Hart and Ice Cube on MLK weekend. So congrats to Kevin Hart, I really think he’s easily top 5 or even top 3 stand ups out right now (Louis CK has that title and won’t let it go) and I hope he continues to have success but extra congrats to the guy who planned out that release date.

PS How many jokes got missed due to talking and over exaggerated laughing/clapping/yelling? “Oooooo Kev you a fool for dis one!” (Eddie Murphy said it not me)



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