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‘Ride Along 2′ Gets Rolling: Tim Story To Direct, Will Packer To Produce With Deals Closing For Kevin Hart and Ice Cube

Ride Along CrewEXCLUSIVE: It was inevitable after the huge success of Ride Along that Universal Pictures executives would be salivating to get the sequel together. Tim Story will direct Ride Along 2 and Ice Cube and Kevin Hart are closing to reprise their roles as the quick-witted security guard (Hart) who has his eye on his partner’s (Cube’s) sister. The film debuted five weeks ago on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend to bring in a record opening of $41.5M. It has since grossed more than $120M worldwide as of this weekend. The three-day gross on Ride Along dropped only 9% even as they shed 283 screens with $3,460 per screen. Helluva hold.

Will Packer and Cube’s Cube Vision (Ice Cube and Matt Alvarez) are coming back to produce from a script by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? A late June/early July start is planned and all are hard at work finalizing the script which is expected to have more action and am hearing that it will be more multi-cultural to expand the demos. Smart move, all, if you want to expand into the lucrative Latin American and European markets. Yes, it’s comedy but it’s also business. Ride Along is in six territories currently with expansions into other markets yet to come, but it is getting 97% of its total box office ($121.2M) from domestic. Likewise, the bankable Think Like a Man also had 95% of its box office coming from the U.S. Universal EVP Production Scott Bernstein will oversee the project for the studio. Larry Brezner is also producing and BenderSpink, executive producing. Read More »

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It’s Official: Kevin Hart’s ‘The Wedding Ringer’ Set for 2015 MLK Holiday Frame

By | Monday January 27, 2014 @ 12:12pm PST

kevinhart1As Deadline reported yesterday, it looks like Hollywood has a new king of the MLK Day weekend. A week after the record-breaking debut of Ride Along, Sony said today that it has booked Kevin Hart starrer The Wedding Ringer into next year’s holiday frame. The Screen Gems/Miramax comedy is slated for January 16, 2015, where it will exchange vows against Fox’s Frankenstein and Universal’s Untitled Michael Mann project. Hart stars as Jimmy, who provides best man services for socially challenged guys. One groom-to-be (Josh Gad) hires him — then goes so far as to name nine fake groomsmen. Jeremy Garelick is directing Wedding Ringer from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jay Lavender. Adam Fields and Will Packer are producing.

Related:
BOX OFFICE FINAL: ‘Ride Along’ A $48M Phenom Breaks Records
UTA’s Barbara Dreyfus Named Head Of Motion Pictures For Will Packer’s Production Company
Universal Makes First-Look Feature Pact With Hitmaking Producer Will Packer

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