‘Ride Along’ Speeds Past Box-Office Records

Kevin Hart and Ice Cube's action comedy sets January record.

Although Ice Cube once rapped “F— Tha Police,” this weekend’s “Ride Along” became the #1 movie in America. And he got there by playing a cop.

Ride Along” sped past previous record-holder “Cloverfield” with the biggest January opening in history, grabbing an estimated $41.6 million ($48.1 million over the four-day Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend) in its nationwide debut. The action comedy stars Cube as a comically mean cop who takes his sister’s security guard boyfriend out on the job in an attempt to scare him off. Kevin Hart plays Cube’s comedic foil, fresh off the success last summer’s “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain” standup comedy concert film and a decade removed from the critical and commercial dud “Soul Plane.”

“Ride Along” pushed Cube’s total domestic box office gross past $1 billion, a figure that includes the “Barbershop” movies, the “Friday” franchise, Singleton’s “Higher Learning” and his 1991 debut “Boyz ‘N the Hood.”

Ice Cube Does A Mean Kevin Hart Impression: Watch Now!

In a much shorter time period, Chris Pine has participated in more than $900 million worth of movies. More than half of that figure is due to the successful relaunch of the “Star Trek” series. Over the weekend, Pine was much less successful in breathing new life into Jack Ryan, late author Tom Clancy’s fictional spy previously portrayed by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck. At $18 million, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” had the lowest debut of all five Jack Ryan movies.

The holiday weekend was even worse for “Devil’s Due,” another supernatural-themed found-footage horror movie. Arriving within the same month as “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,” “Devil’s Due” was DOA at $8.4 million — even less than even 2011′s troubled found-footage flop “Apollo 18.”

Last weekend’s #1 movie “Lone Survivor” was #2 with $22.1 million. Mark Wahlberg’s Navy SEAL drama has made close to $80 million. Kid-friendly animated comedy “The Nut Job” opened at #3 with $19.4 million, though it’s very unlikely it will come anywhere near the $737 million worldwide earned by “Frozen.”

“Frozen” is up for two Oscars. “American Hustle” and “Gravity” led the Academy Awards announcement with 10 nominations each. “American Hustle” jumped 20 percent from the weekend before, pushing its total past $115 million. “Gravity” was rereleased in nearly 1,000 theaters, driving its total to $258.3 million. “12 Years A Slave” (nine nominations) passed $40 million thanks to its own rerelease. “August: Osage County” made $7.4 million as it expanded into over 2,000 locations.

“American Hustle,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Blue Jasmine” all took home Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday.