Can Ride Along 2 overthrow Star Wars at the Box office?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is a box office juggernaut with few equals, but the space opera is getting some stiff competition this weekend when Ice Cube and Kevin Hart re-team for “Ride Along 2.”

The buddy cop comedy is expected to bring in $40 million over the four-day Martin Luther King weekend, according to pre-release tracking. Universal, the studio behind the film, is being more conservative and pegging the opening closer to $30 million. It’s the same holiday period that hosted the first “Ride Along” in 2014; it was a hospitable reception as the film became the second-biggest Martin Luther King weekend opening in history with a $48.6 million haul. Most box office prognosticators believe that will be enough to dethrone “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The fantasy adventure has held first place at the box office for four consecutive weekends. It should do $20 million worth of business over the holiday.

Domestically, “The Force Awakens” is already the highest-grossing film in history with $819.6 million in receipts. Globally, it may not be able to overtake “Avatar” to become the top film ever. It has racked up $1.8 billion, but still has almost a billion dollars to go before it breaks records and no major foreign territories left to open.

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