Box Office Preview: 'I, Frankenstein' No Match for Holdover 'Ride Along'

Universal's Kevin Hart and Ice Cube buddy-cop comedy Ride Along should have no trouble staying at No. 1 in its second weekend, beating new genre entry I, Frankenstein with a gross north of $20 million.

Ride Along scored the top opening of all time for the long Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend ($48.6 million) and cements Hart's rising star status. The pic's total was $52.5 million through Wednesday.

Frankenstein, reimagining the classic literary character as an action hero, is expected to open in the $10 million to $12 million range, a so-so start considering the movie's $65 million budget. Directed by Stuart Beattie and starring Aaron Eckhart, Frankenstein was financed and produced by Lakeshore Entertainment, with Lionsgate releasing and marketing in North America.

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Adapted from Kevin Grevioux's graphic novel, the supernatural action pic is set in a dystopian future where gargoyles and demons battle each other for ultimate power as Victor Frankenstein's creation (Eckhart) finds himself caught in the middle. Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Socratis Otto, Jai Courtney and Grevioux also star.

Lionsgate and Lakeshore have been aggressively going after men and genre fans, including advertising for last week's football championship games.

It remains to be seen whether Frankenstein can trump holdover Lone Survivor and nab the No. 2 spot.

Based on demand, Universal is increasing the number of theaters that Lone Survivor is playing in, from 2,989 to 3,160. Directed by Peter Berg, the Afghanistan war drama is a hit in America's heartland. Entering its third weekend in nationwide release, Lone Survivor has earned $79.6 million domestically.

Among award contenders looking for a continued boost after scoring top Oscar nominations, Dallas Buyers Club expands nationwide on Friday, upping its theater count from 419 to 1,110. The drama, starring Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, has grossed $18.2 million to date. It was rereleased in theaters last weekend.

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