The Kevin Hart/Ice Cube film Ride Along arrived in first place at the weekend box office. The buddy cop comedy debuted with $41.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The strong opening for Ride Along marks the biggest debut for a film released during Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and puts it on track to top the $40.1 million record set by the 2008 monster movie Cloverfield for the biggest opening of January.
Ride Along is the first starring role for Hart, whose box-office status has been on the rise since the success of his 2013 stand-up film Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain and memorable roles in such movies as Think Like a Man, This Is the End and Grudge Match. “He’s everywhere it seems,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. “I know he was co-starring with Ice Cube in Ride Along, but this really was marketed as a Kevin Hart movie. There’s no question he’s a movie star now who doesn’t require any qualifications before his name.”