The box office can be a cruel stomping ground for films, where numbers and statistics play no games and pull no punches. Perform badly there, and it’s difficult failure to hide from.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit'How much? No. No it can't be' says Jack Ryan

The people behind Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; Paramount Pictures, director Kenneth Branagh and lead star Chris Pine, will have been hoping for a solid performance, especially considering the titles they were going up against.

Box Office Mojo had the numbers

Ride Along, the film that ended up topping this weekend’s box office with a hefty $41m – a January record, no less – is really, really, really bad. It’s not just us saying that; the critics are pretty unanimous in their disdain for the Kevin Hart and Ice Cube spoof buddy-movie.

Jack Ryan, despite performing considerably better with the critics, opened to $17.2m this weekend, which placed the thriller in fourth place. It matched the total of its predecessor in the franchise, Red October – but that film opened 24 years ago, when tickets were around half the price. Ouch.

Even more painful for Jack Ryan, is that Lone Survivor – a film enjoying its fourth week of release – trumped it with $22m, finishing in second. The Nut Job secured the third spot with $20.5m, while Disney’s Frozen spends its billionth week in the top 5 with another $11m. 

Lukewarm critical success aside, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit will go down as an unqualified failure should the numbers not pick up this week – and there’s no indication that it will. The big names, ‘Hart’ and ‘Ice Cube’, combined with a ridiculous premise have put bums on seats.

The U.S box office is generally a quiet place. The blockbuster films hit town in the tail end of the summer; the Oscar-contenders come later on towards the winter, while the delayed, the independent and the rubbish come in January. Just kidding.

Watch the trailer for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit