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Kevin Hart comedy debuts at top spot

Ice Cube, left, and Kevin Hart in a scene from "Ride Along."Associated Press

It’s looking like a good long weekend for Universal, with a decisive bow for “Ride Along” and a strong sophomore performance from “Lone Survivor” sure to take first and second place over the holiday weekend.

“Ride Along” opened to $14.4 million Friday, and is now expected to earn about $40 million over the four-day frame, handily taking first. With this, Universal will top its third consecutive Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend after last year’s “Mama” ($28.4 million bow) and “Contraband” ($24.3 million) before that.

In fact, “Ride Along” could become the second highest MLK holiday weekend bow on record after “Cloverfield,” which took $46.1 million in 2008.

“Lone Survivor” is continuing strong in its second weekend in wide release with $6.7 million Friday and an expected $26 million through Monday.

This upsets prior reports that Paramount’s “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” would take second; it’s now looking closer to fourth or fifth with a four-day take in the high teens. The thriller’s reported budget is $60 million.

Family audiences are notoriously difficult to peg with pre-weekend tracking, but a pair of toons are expected to have strong showings over the holiday: Open Road’s “The Nut Job” is now looking at third place with $4.8 million from Friday and about $24 million for four days, while Disney’s “Frozen” stays cool with $2.5 million Friday and an $18 million weekend, neck-and-neck with “Jack Ryan.”

An eleventh hour highly-shared viral marketing push wasn’t enough, it seems, to give “Devil’s Due” the edge it needed over other openers. The Fox scarer is bowing around seventh place with $3.5 million from Friday and about $10 million overall in four days.

Oscar hopefuls “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” reopened this weekend to join fellow nominees “American Hustle” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” though to more modest fanfare. Where “Hustle” and “Wolf” are looking at $11 million and $8 million holiday weekends, respectively, “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” are looking at about $2 million each.

“Gravity,” of course, received plenty of attention its first time at bat, and has grossed $256.9 million domestically. “12 Years a Slave’s” total should top $40 million by Monday.

Click here to read more from Variety.com

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