“Star Wars” may be “Star Wars,” but this weekend it had nothing on the latest Kevin Hart. “Ride Along 2” debuted to $39.5 million in its opening (holiday) weekend, while “The Force Awakens” slid to third place, with “only” $25.1 million. In fact, the latter was even beat by the movie where Leonardo DiCaprio crawls his way across frigid hellscapes for two-and-a-half hours to (maybe, probably) claim his first-ever Oscar. “The Revenant” ratcheted up another $29.5 million, bringing its tally up to just shy of $100 million, which is good news as it cost $150 million and almost a year to shoot.
In even better news, “13 Hours,” Michael Bay’s roided-up recreation of the Battle of Benghazi — intended to fire up the anti-Hillary base — basically failed, pulling in a mere $16 million against a $50 million budget. Perhaps the Benghazi controversy has been overstated?
But back to “Ride Along 2”: Despite scoring the top spot, it performed a hair under the first one, which netted $41.5 million this time two years prior. Sequels — especially ones that cost double the original — are supposed to grow, not almost hit the same mark.
Does this not bode well for Kevin Hart? Not necessarily. He’s got a good thing going, cranking out buddy comedies that often have little going for them apart from Kevin Hart. The performer may sputter up a storm, firing off ad-libs at a steady clip, but the films themselves are mere blue prints — rickety structures to support him and his “hey, I’m short” yuks.