"Ride Along 2" replaces "Star Wars " as nation's No. 1 movie

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Amid outrage over a lack of diversity among Oscar nominees, "Ride Along 2," aimed squarely at black and Hispanic moviegoers, arrived to a robust $34 million in weekend ticket sales. Meanwhile, ticket sales for Michael Bay's politically divisive "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" were on the soft side.

Starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, "Ride Along 2" (Universal Pictures) ended the monthlong run of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" as the No. 1 film in North America. As often happens with comedy sequels, however, turnout for the second "Ride Along" was weaker than for the original, which took in $41.5 million on the same weekend in 2014. "Ride Along 2" cost roughly $40 million to make; the original cost $25 million.

In its second week of wide release, "The Revenant" (20th Century Fox) — receiving a boost from its 12 Oscar nominations, which were announced Thursday — collected a strong $29.5 million in second place, for a new total of $87.7 million, according to Rentrak, which compiles box-office data.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (Disney) was third, selling an estimated $25.1 million in tickets, for a five-week domestic total of $851 million.

That left "13 Hours" (Paramount Pictures) with a fourth-place debut of roughly $16 million, on par with the prerelease expectations of analysts but nothing close to the interest generated by some recent war-themed movies. "Lone Survivor," for instance, had $37.8 million in ticket sales in its first weekend of wide release in January 2014.

Paramount said that "13 Hours" generated 41 percent of its weekend business from Southern states, with Florida and Texas especially strong. "13 Hours" cost an estimated $50 million to make.


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