The bromance between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum has paid off once again.  22 JUMP STREET opened in first place this week raking in an incredible $60 mil.  That’s the second biggest opening for an R rated comedy ever.  THE HANGOVER PART II (2011) holds the record with $85.9 mil.  To put it in franchise context, the original 21 JUMP STREET opened in March of 2012 with $36.3 mil and went on to gross $138.4 mil domestic and $201.5 mil worldwide. The audience for this sequel skewed young which tends to indicate that it, like many movies opening in 2014, will be front loaded.  It will be interesting to follow the numbers over the coming weeks to see how much word of mouth carries 22 beyond its opening weekend.

Opening in second place, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 scored $50 mil.  It’s just the fourth time in history that two films have opened the same week and grossed over $50 mil.  The most recent example is last year’s MONSTERS UNIVERSITY and WORLD WAR Z.  Previous to that it was MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’S MOST WANTED and PROMETHEUS (2012) and WALL-E and WANTED (2008).  Speaking of MADAGASCAR 3, it was the last big opening for a DreamWorks Animated film and DRAGON 2 suffers slightly by comparison. It opened June 8, 2012 with $60.3 mil.  Considering DRAGON 2 is the sequel to one of the best regarded animated films of the last decade (it’s got an amazing 98% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes), expectations are high.  DreamWorks is coming off the recent disappointment of MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN for which they took a $57 mil write down (Link). They have been banking on DRAGON 2 to make up for that shortfall.  To be sure, a $50 mil opening isn’t terrible by any stretch of the imagination.  Animated films tend to have long theatrical lives compared to other genres. It’s also important to note that it’s $50 mil is different from the $60 mil earned by 22 JUMP STREET insomuch as DRAGON 2 tickets for kids are cheaper than R rated adult tickets.   All that said, for DRAGON 2 to be considered a success it must exceed the $494.8 mil worldwide ($217.5 mil domestic) that the original garnered in 2010.  It’s my belief that it will.  PLANES: FIRE AND RESCUE is the next animated film to be released and it doesn’t open until July 18.  That’s over a month where DRAGONS 2 has the family film market virtually to itself.

The well reviewed but audience adverse EDGE OF TOMORROW actually held well week-to-week.  It earned $16.1 mil, just a 43% drop from its opening weekend.  This speaks to two things.  Word of mouth may have encouraged audiences to try it out to be sure, but EDGE didn’t have nearly as far to fall as films that opened much higher.  It’s still got a massive $178 mil production budget to recoup that will have to come from foreign receipts where it’s already earned $111 mil as of June 8.  Foreign totals are not yet available for this week for all films.

I mentioned that 22 JUMP STREET was front loaded and so too was THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.  It fell a massive 67% week to week, tumbling from its $48 mil opening to earn $15.7 mil this week.  Considering that it’s already grossed nearly $100 mil worldwide against an incredibly slight $12 mil budget, it’s most certainly a hit.  It is also an example of just how important opening weekends are now compared to even five years ago.

Short Takes:  MALEFICENT is holding well in its third week in release.  To date it’s earned a decent $163.5 mil domestic. A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST continues its rapid fall into obscurity.  It lost another 58% of its audience week-to-week and has earned just $38.9 mil after three weeks.  To put it in context, by the third week of TED (2012) it had earned $159.2 mil.  X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST sailed ahead of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 to become the top grossing film of the summer as well as the first one to cross $200 mil at the domestic box office.

Up Next: The Clint Eastwood helmed JERSEY BOYS based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name and the sequel THINK LIKE A MAN TOO.

Here, as always, are the weekend domestic estimates courtesy of our friends at boxofficemojo.com:

box office


~Matt Reed