Weekend Box Office (June 13 - 15, 2014)
by Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND In a battle of sequels, the R-rated action-comedy 22 Jump Street overpowered the animated family film How to Train Your Dragon 2 while last weekend's champ The Fault in Our Stars went tumbling down the charts.
A little over two years since the original 21 Jump Street opened to $36.3M on its way to a $138M final gross, 2-time Oscar nominee Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum returned to theaters this weekend with 22 Jump Street and hit a home run. The Sony release grossed an estimated $60M from 3,306 venues for a per screen average of $18,149. Critics have enjoyed this film as much as its predecessor (nearly identical Rotten Tomatoes scores of 85% for the original and 83% for the sequel) and audiences gave the film a solid A- Cinemascore. The $60M represents the highest R-rated opening in June beating 2012's Ted and it's the highest comedy opening in June taking down 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. While both Hill and Tatum have said in recent interviews there will be no third film, I have to imagine Sony will be pushing for an end to this lucrative trilogy.
Settling for the runner-up spot was the DreamWorks animated sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 which opened to an estimated $50M, with a per screen average of $11,756. The original film opened in March of 2010 to a relatively soft $43.7M but had great legs and ended its run at $217M. With four years of price increases, the sequel was predicted to open a little higher than it did and could have a hard time reaching the heights of the original, at least domestically. It is the highest opening for a DreamWorks animated film since 2012's Madagascar 3 which opened to $60M on its way to a final take of $216.4M.
Disney's Maleficent fell 44% in its third go around to an estimated $19M, bringing its cume to $163M. It is the second highest live-action film for Angelina Jolie and should easily pass 2005's Mr. and Mrs. Smith in the next couple of weeks. Fellow A-lister Tom Cruise landed in fourth place with his latest Sci-fi adventure Edge of Tomorrow which fell 44% in its second weekend to an estimated $16.1M, bringing its total to just under $57M. Last year's Oblivion fell 52% in its second weekend and was at $65M before ending its run at $89M. Edge of Tomorrow is on pace to equal that total.
This weekend's biggest drop comes courtesy of last weekend's biggest film as Fox's tearjerker The Fault In Our Stars tumbled 67% to $15M, according to estimates, bringing its cume to $81.7M. With so much anticipation from the built-in fan base, the drop was a little bigger than expected but still not a huge surprise. X-Men: Days of Future Past became the first 2014 summer release (and third film of the year overall) to crack the $200M barrier, taking in an estimated $9.5M and bringing its total to $206M.
Warner Brother's monster hit Godzilla was in seventh place this weekend with an estimated $3M, bringing its total after five weeks to $191M. Univeral's western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West continued to crumble falling 58% in its third weekend to an estimated $3M, bringing its total to a disappointing $39M. How quickly before Seth MacFarlane gets Ted 2 out? Oh wait, it's already scheduled for next summer, where I'm sure he hopes people will have forgotten about his sheep farmer. Fellow Universal comedy stablemate Neighbors ended in ninth place with an estimated $2.5M bringing its total to a robust $143M after six weeks. And rounding out the top 10 was indie darling Chef which dropped 13% from last weekend to an estimated $2.3M, bringing its total to $14M.
The top 10 grossed $181.4M which was down 6% from 2013 when Man of Steel destroyed the box office with $116.6M; and up a remarkable 50% from 2012 when Madagascar 3 held on to the top spot in its second weekend with $34M.
Compared to projections, 22 Jump Street ended a little above Gitesh's $53M prediction, while How to Train Your Dragon 2 ended a little below Gitesh's $54M forecast.
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Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Jersey Boys and Think Like a Man Too both open.
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: June 15, 2014 at 3:00PM ET
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