Box Office: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart’s ‘Get Hard’ Opens to $1.8 Million

By Cheri Cheng - 27 Mar '15 13:34PM

Comedy film "Get Hard," which stars Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart, opened Thursday night to a solid $1.8 million in the U.S.

"Get Hard," which is projected to make at least $30 million over the weekend, will open in 3,175 locations on Friday. The film features the directorial debut of Etan Cohen.

The R-rated film is about a wealthy white man, played by Ferrell, who has been sentenced to prison or 10 years for tax evasion. In order to prepare for the "hard" life behind bars, Ferrell's character hires a black man, played by Hart, to teach him how to toughen up and survive. The movie also stars Alison Brie, Edwina Findley and Craig T. Nelson.

The film got very mixed reviews when it premiered on March 16 at SXSW. Some viewers found the film very racist and homophobic. Others found it hilarious and on point.

In response to the criticisms, Ferrell said, "Any time you're going to do an R-rated comedy, you're going to offend someone... but that's kind of what we do. We provoke. We prod. We also show a mirror to what's already existing out there. We're playing fictitious characters who are articulating some of the attitudes and misconceptions that already exist."

Hart added, "Here's the beautiful thing about Will and myself: You're looking at two guys that are no strangers to criticism The critic's job is to critique. I don't think I've ever had a great review on a film that I've done. Not one. Everybody always has had something to say. And if they're not talking, then you have a problem."

Hart's latest film topped his previous project, "Ride Along," which earned $1.1 million on its opening night. "Ride Along" went on to make $41.5 million in its debut weekend. "Get Hard's" biggest competition will be DreamWorks' animated family film, "Home," released by Fox.

"Home," which is about an alien, Oh, voiced by Jim Parsons, who lands on Earth and meets a little girl named Gratuity "Tip" Tucci (Rihanna), opened to $650,000 Thursday night. Previous animated films, "Rio 2" and "The Croods," opened to $375,000 and $200,000, respectively. "Rio 2" ended up making $39.2 million and "The Croods" made $43.6 million.

"Home" is also expected to hit the $30 million mark in its opening weekend. It also stars Jennifer Lopez and Steve Martin.

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