Universal executives were celebrating as the Ice Cube-Kevin Hart comedy grossed an estimated $41.2m to set a three-day holiday weekend record.
The studio enjoyed a one-two punch as Lone Survivor slipped to number two on $23.2m for $74m after four weekends.
Paramount’s spy thriller reboot Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit starring Chris Pine and Keira Knightley directed by Kenneth Branagh arrived at number four on $17.2m.
Animation The Nut Job debuted at number three through Open Road on $20.6m and Fox’s horror tale Devil’s Due opened at number seven on $8.5m.
Besides Lone Survivor and The Nut Job, two other products of the independent space are faring well. American Hustle at number eight stands at $116.4m after six sessions and is co-financed by Sony Pictures and Annapurna Productions.
The Wolf Of Wall Street, funded by Red Granite, ranks ninth on $90.3m after four weekends.
Box office for the top 12 gained 27% against the three-day portion of MLK weekend in 2012. The weekend climbed 31% against last weekend. Distributors will declare four-day results on Monday (20).
This week’s new wide release is Lakeshore Entertainment’s I, Frankenstein through Lionsgate. Aaron Eckhart stars.
Estimated Top 10 North America Jan 17-19 2014
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date
1 (-) Ride Along (Universal) UPI $41.2m –
2 (1) Lone Survivor (Universal) Foresight Unlimited $23.2m $74m
3 (-) The Nut Job (Open Road) Red Rover $20.6m –
4 (-) Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Paramount) PPI $17.2m –
5 (2) Frozen (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $11.9m $332.6m
6 (5) American Hustle (Sony) Panorama $10.6m $116.4m
7 (-) Devil’s Due (Fox) Fox International $8.5m –
8 (7) August: Osage County (TWC) TWC $7.6m $18.2m
9 (4) The Wolf Of Wall Street (Paramount) Red Granite International $7.5m $90.3m
10 (8) Saving Mr Banks (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $4.1m $75.4m