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“Ride Along” wins the weekend box office handily

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It’s apparently time to christen comedian Kevin Hart as a genuine movie star. The diminutive actor and comedian got his first major starring role in a new movie this weekend. Along with Ice Cube, Hart plays a guy who goes along on a police ride for a night in order to impress a cop whose brother he is dating. The movie opened to tepid to bad reviews from critics, but seems to have been just the thing audiences were looking for in the doldrums of January movie releases.

The movie, Ride Along, pulled in a record $41.2 million for the weekend. It is a holiday weekend, which may have helped, but there was some very bad weather in parts of the country. Despite this, the crowds turned out to make the show number one at the box office and to shatter some opening-weekend box office records.

The rest of the big movies this weekend were some of the other new films that opened, and movies that are garnering a number of awards at the various ceremonies, which may be contributing to their sudden appearance on the box office lists.

Here were the box office winners for the weekend of January 17 - 19, 2014 (all dollar amounts listed are in millions of dollars):

10. Saving Mr. Banks - $4.4
9. The Wolf of Wall Street - $7.5
8. August: Osage County - $7.59
7. Devil’s Due (one of the other new movies) - $8.5
6. American Hustle - $10.6
5. Frozen - $11.9
4. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (a new one this weekend) - $17.2
3. The Nut Job (another new one) - $20.5
2. Lone Survivor (last week’s winner) - $23.2
1. Ride Along - $41.2

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