AFP

LOS ANGELES-Cop comedy Ride Along raced straight to the top of North America’s box office over the US holiday weekend, while five Oscar-nominated films jostled for places, data showed Tuesday.

The action film, starring funnyman Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, raked in $41.5 million over the normal Friday-to-Sunday weekend, pushing last week’s favourite, Lone Survivor, into second place, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations. Over the four-day Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend including Monday, the cop duo pulled in $48.6 million, compared to $25.9 million for the Afghan war drama, which made $22.1 million over the regular three-day weekend.

“Lone Survivor,” starring Mark Wahlberg, is based on a book by the only Navy SEAL commando to survive a raid targeting an Islamist fighter, one of the war’s deadliest incidents. In a weekend of multiple movie debuts, “The Nut Job” - an animated tale about a squirrel forced from his park and into the big city - took in $19.4 million over three days, and $25.7 million over four days, scoring third place in the box office. And “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” debuted in fourth at $15.5 million, or $18 million over four days. The action adventure prequel, starring Chris Pine, is the fifth film in the series based on author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan books. The franchise began with 1990’s “The Hunt for Red October,” and has starred Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck in the leading role over the years. Falling to fifth place was Disney animated musical “Frozen,” a loosely based retelling of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.

The movie, which won best animated feature Golden Globe and is nominated for an Oscar in the same category, added another $11.8 million, or $16.1 million including Monday, bringing its nine-week North American total to nearly $337 million. Critically acclaimed comedy “American Hustle,” fresh off its top prize win at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards Saturday, earned $9.9 million, or $11.8 million over four days, sliding one spot to sixth place.