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We expected Ride Along to be a hit. Kevin Hart and Ice Cube have strong followings, and the buddy cop formula has proven to be a gold mine in the past. (Ask Paul Feig how The Heat did last summer.) But I don’t think any of us expected it to approach $100 million in January. Mama topped out at $71M in 2013. Mark Wahlberg’s Contraband stalled at $66.5M in 2012. And neither are threatening to launch a film franchise.

Ride Along, however, should propel Hart and Cube into a sequel sooner rather than later. When a movie finds an audience of this size, studios often try to see if lightning will strike the same spot twice. Sometimes it works. Too often, it doesn’t.

What do we know about a potential Ride Along sequel? Quite a lot, actually. Let’s run through the details and figure out if and when this movie might actually come together.

A Ride Along Sequel Has Been In The Works For Months
We actually first reported on a potential Ride Along sequel back in April 2013… a full nine months before director Tim Story’s comedy had even reached a single theater. Universal executives must have really liked what they were seeing from the chemistry between Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, because they voiced enough support in the movie to say that a sequel had been "greenlit." Of course, if Ride Along did Jack Ryan numbers, this sequel would go back into the special vault Hollywood reserves for stink bombs. But Story’s movie connected, so the wheels on a sequel should keep turning.
Yeah, But Will Kevin Hart Be In It?
You’d assume, right? Hit movies rarely come back for a sequel without bringing the principle players back into the fold. Then again, there were multiple Friday sequels that stopped leaning on Cube and Chris Tucker, so anything’s possible. But while giving an interview to The Russ Parr Morning Show, Cube said that even though he had to "carry" Kevin Hart through the bulk of Ride, he joked, " His little ass is going to do Ride Along 2!"

You have to wonder when, though. Hart will be promoting all sorts of movies over the next few months, from About Last Night to Think Like a Man, Too. There going to have to film around his schedule. So long as the script is solid, though, everyone should be back. Which brings us to our next point…

The Sequel Has No Interest In Recycling Jokes
The stars of Story’s film were asked about a sequel multiple times on the publicity circuit for Ride Along. The most in-depth answers went to the Wall Street Journal, who talked to the duo about how they’d approach a sequel. Cube said:
"When we do the sequel, we’re not going to be borrowing jokes from the first one. … We’re going to do a whole new movie that’s going to be fresh and fly."

While Hart said that they always wanted this movie to stand in a group of cop films that eventually birthed sequel, from Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour to the Bad Boys films. "(Cube’s) whole goal was to make sure that we were part of that conversation," Hart said.

Story is a pro at sequels, having helmed two Fantastic Four movies and now two Think Like a Man films. He doesn’t have anything on his docket after Think Like a Man, Too, due in theaters on June 20. Could he get the Ride Along band back together for a second film shortly after? We shall see.

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