Ice Cube, Kevin Hart Don’t Need Oscars To Rule The Weekend

Best Picture nominees will get a boost, but "Ride Along" should be #1.

The man who wrote gangster rap classic “F— tha Police” is about to rule the box office with a gun and a badge.

Ride Along” stars Ice Cube as a cop-with-attitude who takes his sister’s security guard boyfriend (Kevin Hart) on a “ride along” in an effort to scare him away. The 2012 MTV VMA host combines his increasingly potent movie-star muscle with the experienced action-comedy chops of the N.W.A. cofounder.

The four-day Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday should be ruled by “Ride Along,” as industry analysts predicted the critical misfire will open between $26 and $32 million. This should be more than enough to displace last weekend’s #1 movie, “Lone Survivor,” even in light of the Navy SEAL drama’s two Oscar nominations.

Less than five years after helping to successfully relaunch “Star Trek” as the new Captain Kirk, Chris Pine takes on late bestselling author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan character previously portrayed by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck. Pine’s “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” arrives a dozen years after Affleck’s turn in the role and is projected to open at #3 at the box office.

The near $20 million of “Shadow Recruit” should be enough to beat “The Nut Job,” the poorly reviewed animated comedy doesn’t seem to stand a chance to get anywhere near the critical and commercial hit “Frozen,” which has given Disney a Golden Globe, two Oscar nominations and $714 million around the world. Talking animal farce “The Nut Job” features a main vocal performance from Will Arnett.

‘Jack Ryan’ Star Chris Pine Breaks Down His Insane Motorcycle Stunts.

“Devil’s Due” is the second found-footage horror flick out of the game in 2014, on the heels of “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.” The found-footage device may have overstayed its welcome with audiences, opening as low as $10 million. The stylistic device was pioneered by “The Blair Witch Project” in 1999 and regenerated by the first micro-budget “Paranormal Activity” film, which made nearly $200 million worldwide on a $15,000 budget.

“Captain Phillips” jumped up to more than 900 theaters on Wednesday, with “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity” popping up nationwide Friday in a similar fashion. The conventional wisdom that Academy voters are out-of-touch with commercially popular films doesn’t really ring true this year, considering the domestic gross of some Best Picture nominees. Sure, “Dallas Buyers Club” has only grossed about $17 million. But “Gravity” grabbed $256.3 million during its impressive run.

“Captain Phillips” and “American Hustle” have made over $105 million each, while “The Wolf of Wall Street” is closing in on $85 million. Several movies last year disproved that notion as well: “Lincoln” ($182 million), “Django Unchained” ($162), “Silver Linings Playbook” ($132) and Best Picture winner “Argo” ($136 million). And who could forget “Avatar” and “Up”, which made over $1 billion between them in 2009? ($17 million grosser “The Hurt Locker” won Best Picture).